PA Dems say GOP hid member’s positive COVID-19 test: ‘callous liars’
Republican state Rep. Andrew Lewis says that he contacted everyone that he believed might have been exposed to him
According to a report in The Washington Post, Democratic leadership in Pennsylvania is accusing Republicans of deliberately hiding a GOP member’s positive COVID-19 test result for over a week.
Republican state Rep. Andrew Lewis released a statement on Wednesday revealing he received his positive test result on May 20.
“I immediately began a self-isolation protocol and contacted the House of Representatives, and our caucus Human Resources department. My last day in the Capitol was Thursday, May 14,” Lewis’s statement read, “I can confirm every member or staff member who met the criteria for exposure was immediately contacted and required to self-isolate for 14 days from their date of possible exposure.”
However, Democratic leadership said Lewis’s messaging only applied to other Republicans.
It was disclosed today that a Harrisburg lawmaker tested positive for #COVID19 a week ago but few #PaHouse colleagues – who all work closely together at the Capitol – were told.
— Leader Frank Dermody (@RepFrankDermody) May 27, 2020
In a statement, Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said he and other House members were shocked to learn that a colleague received a positive COVID diagnosis more than a week ago.
“While we are pleased to learn that this House member seems to have recovered, it is simply unacceptable that some House Republicans knew about this for more than a week and sat on that knowledge,” he said.
Democratic Representative Brian K. Sims called House Republicans, “callous liars,” for not being forthcoming about the health of their colleague, stating that he put the entire voting body at risk.
SHOCKED! I never thought I’d see a day like this. I’ve never felt more disgusted with government. This is the link: https://t.co/eMqoNRbvqf
— Brian Sims (@BrianSimsPA) May 28, 2020
According to the statement, there were six days of voting sessions and over 15 separate meetings of House committees voting on dozens of bills. Democratic leadership is expressing that Lewis unnecessarily exposed them to the potentially deadly virus and the opportunity to get tested.
State Rep. Dan B. Frankel, minority chairman of the House Health Committee, said in a statement that he was “horrified to learn that members of the General Assembly failed to do the right thing.”
Some Pennsylvania House Democrats are calling for their colleagues to resign, while others are asking the state’s attorney general to investigate.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s new podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!