McCaul tests positive for COVID-19 in latest congressional breakthrough
(The hill) – Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas) revealed on Friday that he tested positive for COVID-19 this week, becoming the latest congressman to contract a groundbreaking case of the virus amid the current national outbreak of cases due to the omicron variant.
McCaul confirmed that he was fully vaccinated and boosted and that he was “recovering every day”. In the meantime, McCaul has said he will vote by proxy next week “for my health and the safety of others,” following public health guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.
âI tested positive for COVID-19 this week and therefore I will be voting by proxy next week for my health and the safety of others. I am fully vaccinated and boosted. Fortunately, I am recovering every day. I can’t wait to get back to work for the people at TX-10, âMcCaul wrote in a tweet.
In total, at least 37 members of Congress – 29 in the House and 8 in the Senate – have contracted groundbreaking cases of COVID-19 since the summer, which means they were vaccinated but still became infected with the virus. These lawmakers have generally reported experiencing only mild symptoms.
Almost half of the breakthrough cases among lawmakers have been since December, when the virus outbreak attributed to the omicron variant began.
The House has not held floor-level votes since December 14 and is not expected to return from its vacation until Monday.
Some Democrats – and only three Republicans – were on Capitol Hill Thursday to mark a year since the Jan.6, 2021 attack on the Capitol by a crowd of supporters of former President Trump who tried to prevent Congress from certify election results. But the House has not been formally in session for in-person votes and committee business for weeks.
Even with the House and Senate mostly out of session in recent weeks, the Capitol doctor said on Monday that the positivity rate at the COVID-19 test site on campus soared from less than 1 percent to 13 percent.
Capitol doctor Brian Monahan advised congressional offices to switch to telecommuting as much as possible and everyone to wear better quality masks like the KN95 or N95.
Two other lawmakers revealed earlier this week that they also tested positive for COVID-19: Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-Minn.).
Hagedorn, who fights kidney cancer, stated that he “exhibited very mild symptomsBut was hospitalized as a precaution due to his cancer treatment.
House Democrats first instituted proxy voting in May 2020 so lawmakers could still vote if they were sick, needed to quarantine, or couldn’t travel due to COVID-19.
Republicans initially voted almost uniformly against establishing proxy voting as a pandemic adaptation measure, including McCaul. But many Republicans have since embraced proxy voting in the past year and a half, including some members of the GOP House leadership.
Nonetheless, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) Has pledged to eliminate proxy voting if Republicans gain a majority in the House next year.
âI spent a lot of time thinking about the next Congress. How do we heal this place? If you all plan to run for re-election, for those who win, no more proxy voting. You’re going to have to show up for work, âMcCarthy said in November during his record-breaking speech in the House where he spoke for over 8 1/2 hours.
Virginians who have not been fully vaccinated or who are eligible for booster doses, can visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (877) 829-4682 to find nearby immunization clinics.