Three distinct teams — Capitol Police, rioters and members of Congress — “had been spending time indoors, with out social distancing, for lengthy intervals of time,” stated Dr. Joshua Barocas, an infectious illnesses doctor at Boston College. The melee doubtless was a super-spreader occasion, he added, “particularly given the backdrop of the extremely transmissible variants which are circulating.”
Dr. Barocas was referring to a extremely contagious new variant of the coronavirus, first recognized in Britain. It has been noticed in a number of U.S. states however might properly have unfold in all places within the nation, making occasions just like the Capitol riot much more dangerous, he stated.
The concept that members of Congress might have been uncovered, amid an already troublesome switch of energy, notably disturbed some scientists. “I’m anxious not solely that it might result in super-spreading, but in addition super-spreading to people who find themselves elected officers,” stated Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Heart for Well being Safety on the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Faculty of Public Well being.
And contaminated members of Congress and legislation enforcement might have unfold the virus to 1 one other as they sheltered from the violence, he famous.
The Presidential Transition
Rep. Jake LaTurner, Republican of Kansas, introduced on Twitter early Thursday morning that he had examined constructive for the virus. Mr. LaTurner was cloistered within the chamber with different members of Congress for a lot of the day.
No less than a dozen of the 400 or so lawmakers and employees who had been huddling in a single committee room refused to put on masks even after being provided one, or wore them improperly beneath their chins, stated Consultant Susan Wild, Democrat of Pennsylvania.
They gathered in a committee room that rapidly turned crowded, making social distancing not possible, she stated. Among the lawmakers had been unmasked, and a number of other had been shouting: “Tensions had been excessive, and other people had been yelling at one another.”