Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said he would self-quarantine after interacting with a person at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) who was later found to have contracted the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Cruz, in a statement on Sunday night, wrote that he was informed over the weekend that he “briefly interacted” with the COVID-19 patient at the conference, which also featured a speech from President Donald Trump, in late February.
“I’m not experiencing any symptoms,” Cruz said, “and I feel fine and healthy.”
The junior senator from Texas noted that his interaction with the patient was brief, or “less than a minute.” Medical authorities told him that the odds of contracting the virus were “extremely low,” according to his statement.
Today I released the following statement: pic.twitter.com/XGXEa4ozcg
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) March 8, 2020
Doctors advised Cruz that testing isn’t possible before symptoms are exhibited, adding that his interaction doesn’t meet the requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for self-quarantine. Meanwhile, health officials told him that people who interacted with the person shouldn’t be concerned about getting the disease.
“Out of an abundance of caution, and because of how frequently I interact with my constituents as part of my job and to give everyone peace of mind, I have decided to remain at my home in Texas this week until a full 14 days have passed since the CPAC interaction,” Cruz wrote.
On March 7, the American Conservative Union, which hosts the high-profile CPAC, confirmed that one of its attendees tested positive and is now under quarantine. The conference was held on Feb. 26 to Feb. 29 in National Harbor, Maryland, inside the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.
“A New Jersey hospital tested the person, and CDC confirmed the positive result,” the organizer wrote in a statement. “The health and safety of our attendees and participants is our top priority,” the statement added. “Any attendee who has questions can contact ACU or the Department of Health for the State of Maryland.”
Several GOP senators and Trump administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, who is in charge of the White House’s coronavirus response, attended the event.
Over the weekend, the chairman of CPAC, Matt Schlapp, told the Washington Post and Fox News that he interacted with the COVID-19 patient and told the broadcaster that he had “incidental contact” with the attendee “very briefly.”
“I can verify that he had no contact with either the president or the vice president,” Schlapp told Fox on Sunday. “I can tell you when the president was on site at CPAC, he lives by what he tells us because I saw him scrub down his hands and clean his hands more than once while he was on the premises, and I did the same, by the way.”