Rep. Adam Schiff Says Former Staffer Contracted Coronavirus

March 15, 2020 Updated: March 15, 2020

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) announced on Sunday that a former staffer has contracted the new coronavirus.

“We have received notice that a former staff member has tested positive for COVID-19,” the disease caused by the Wuhan coronavirus, said Schiff in a statement. He did not identify the person in question.

“Although doctors believe the staffer contracted the virus after leaving my office, I’m taking additional distancing precautions, including postponing meetings and teleworking,” he wrote in a Twitter statement.

Schiff said that the former staffer is feeling better, adding that none of his staff have reported any flu-like symptoms.

“Throughout this health crisis, I feel that the job of elected officials is to push out the best information possible, listen to the advice of public health professionals, and scientists, and be cautious,” the California Democrat wrote.

Other congressional staffers have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days, including a staff member of Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash), who is now in isolation, according to a statement last week. Her office was cleaned and disinfected, and employees are working remotely.

Several other members of Congress have said they would self-quarantine after interacting with individuals who tested positive for the new virus, which emerged late last year in Wuhan, China. They include Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Rep. Don Breyer (D-Va.), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and several others.

President Donald Trump last weekend also came into contact with a Brazilian official who was later found to have tested positive for COVID-19. The president was tested for the virus before the White House physician confirmed that Trump’s COVID-19 result was negative on Saturday.

“Last night after an in-depth discussion with the President regarding COVID-19 testing, he elected to proceed,” Dr. Sean Conley wrote in a memo to news outlets.

It came after Trump was photographed with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s communications secretary, Fabio Wajngarten, who tested positive. He met with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence last week in Mar-a-Lago.

President Trump
President Donald Trump gives a press briefing about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) alongside members of the Coronavirus Task Force in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington on March 14, 2020. (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday announced he doesn’t have COVID-19 after doctors evaluated him. On his Twitter account, Bolsonaro made the confirmation. His son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, also wrote that the “result for [Bolsonaro] for coronavirus … was NEGATIVE.”

Also, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel began showing flu-like symptoms and was tested, according to the RNC.

“Last night, Chairwoman McDaniel began experiencing a fever and flu-like symptoms, and she went to her local hospital in Michigan for treatment. Flu and strep tests were administered and came back negative,” Communications Director Michael Ahrens said in a statement on Saturday.