Democrat Texas House member Joe Deshotel from Beaumont tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday — three days after lawmakers gaveled in for this year’s legislative session.
The China Virus continues worldwide
The Texas House member tested positive for the coronavirus after being on the chamber floor for three straight days, giving lawmakers an early indication of the dangers of governing during the pandemic. The Democrat said he received a rapid test outside the Capitol because it was “free and quick” as he was heading home Thursday afternoon.
He has “no idea” how he contracted it, said Deshotel, who is currently quarantining and reported minor symptoms. “I don’t know where it came from. It rather shocked me when the guy told me.”
“Getting tested is important and wearing a mask is important,” he added. “You can certainly have COVID and not know it, I can tell you that.”
Deshotel said his last test for the virus prior to testing positive on Thursday had been on Monday. He did not opt to receive a test before entering the Capitol on Tuesday or Wednesday.
The medical establishment’s war on COVID therapeutics. pic.twitter.com/ZcXeRvvTu4
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) January 30, 2021
Another Democrat tests positive for COVID-19
The news comes a day after the House met for several hours to debate its rules for the 2021 legislative session, which will require members to wear a mask in the chamber and during committee hearings but not mandate testing before they can enter those spaces. The chamber unanimously adopted the rules.
Deshotel said he wore a mask on the floor and didn’t have extended conversations with members of the House. Video from Tuesday’s proceedings shows that he spoke without a mask for about a minute from the microphone at the front of the chamber to introduce new House Speaker Dade Phelan’s family. Phelan sat unmasked on the dais behind him.
A photo from the House gallery on Thursday also shows Deshotel sitting at his desk with his mask pulled down below his nose and mouth. Multiple other House members can be seen milling about nearby.