COVID-19 derails Texas Democrats lobbying in Washington

COVID-19 derails Texas Democrats lobbying in Washington


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas lawmakers who hightailed it to the nation's capital in a faceoff over voting rights said Tuesday that they're pressing on with their mission to get Democrats in Washington, D.C., to bolster their cause, even as COVID-19 spreads through their ranks.

Six of the more than 50 Texas state representatives who decamped to Washington last week have since tested positive for the coronavirus, along with two Washington staffers associated with the group.

During a news conference Tuesday, the Texas Democrats said they remain optimistic about their cause, even after their Monday night town hall on MSNBC was scaled back because of the positive test results.

“I do believe we are being very innovative and we are rising to respond to these challenges,” Democratic state Rep. Ron Reynolds said.

State Rep. Donna Howard confirmed Tuesday that she tested positive for COVID-19. She said in a statement that she is fully vaccinated and “basically asymptomatic,” but that she is isolating to limit the spread of the virus.

“The delta variant seems to be much more contagious, even for those vaccinated, than initially thought,” Howard said. “Thankfully, I’m vaccinated and feeling well. But this variant is hitting the unvaccinated with severe illness and hospitalizations, particularly impacting those under 65. Vaccines work. Everyone, please get vaccinated and protect yourselves.”

It's possible for people who are vaccinated to still catch COVID-19, although health experts say those “breakthrough” cases are usually mild. The latest numbers show the majority of hospitalized coronavirus patients have not been vaccinated.

One of the two Washington staffers who tested positive works in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Drew Hammill, a Pelosi spokesman, confirmed that...

Full Article