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Jewish Democrat says he contracted COVID during US Capitol siege

Representative Brad Schneider of Illinois blames GOP House members who refused to wear a mask as lawmakers sheltered in a secure area amid riot

Representative Brad Schneider, Democrat-Ilinois, in Washington DC on January 28, 2020. (Samuel Corum/ GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)
Democratic Representative Brad Schneider of Illinois in Washington on January 28, 2020. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images North America/AFP)

JTA — Illinois Representative Brad Schneider, a Jewish Democrat who is a leader in the US House of Representatives on Israel issues, said he has the coronavirus and blamed maskless Republicans who sheltered with him during last week’s insurrection at the Capitol.

He was the third Democratic lawmaker to announce contracting the virus after the storming of the Capitol.

“Last Wednesday, after narrowly escaping a violent mob incited by the President of the United States to attack the Capitol and its occupants, I was forced to spend several hours in a secure but confined location with dozens of other Members of Congress,” Schneider said Tuesday in a statement he also posted on Twitter. “Several Republican lawmakers in the room adamantly refused to wear a mask … even when politely asked by their colleagues.”

Schneider said he is now in quarantine.

US President Donald Trump last week urged protesters who back his fictitious claims that he won November’s election to march on the Capitol. They raided and looted the building, sending lawmakers into hiding.

At least five deaths resulted from the violence.

Representatives Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey and Pramila Jayapal of Washington state were the other two Democrats cloistered with the maskless Republicans who contracted COVID.

Schneider, who before his election was a lay leader in a number of Jewish and pro-Israel groups, recently advanced legislation that would give Israel a greater say in US arms sales to the Middle East.

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