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Politics Rapid coronavirus testing for Congress a hot topic again after Rep. Gohmert catches COVID-19

17:08  01 august  2020
17:08  01 august  2020 Source:   nbcnews.com

GOP leader wants to make rapid testing available at Capitol

  GOP leader wants to make rapid testing available at Capitol House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he is looking at options for Republicans to bring rapid testing to the Capitol that would be offered to members in both parties along with staff and reporters. House Republicans have amplified their calls for testing at the Capitol after Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) became the ninth member of Congress to test positive for the virus this week. Gohmert had repeatedly been seen not wearing a mask at the Capitol, even as many other lawmakers in both parties along with others working at the Capitol did so.

In the aftermath of Rep . Louie Gohmert ’s positive COVID - 19 test , the debate around sending rapid test machines to the Capitol is back in full force. Gohmert catches COVID - 19 . House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are both against bringing rapid testing to

Both tests from Siemens, the ADVIA Centaur COV2G and Attelica COV2G, are what are known as "semi-quantitative" tests , meaning that they do not display a precise measurement, but estimate the quantity of a patient's antibodies produced against infection with the virus that causes COVID - 19 .

In the aftermath of Rep. Louie Gohmert’s positive COVID-19 test, the debate around sending rapid test machines to the Capitol is back in full force.

Louie Gohmert wearing a suit and tie © Provided by MSNBC

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell don’t agree on much, but they are on the same page about not bringing rapid testing to Capitol Hill — and there is bipartisan pushback against their decision.

“I think we need to look at that, especially members are traveling from other places you have staff and others — testing would be appropriate to have,” House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Wednesday. “Just as Congressman Gohmert says he doesn't have any symptoms — there could be others like him.”

Lawmakers question why there isn't a testing regimen on Capitol Hill

  Lawmakers question why there isn't a testing regimen on Capitol Hill In light of Rep. Louie Gohmert's Covid-19 diagnosis, a handful of lawmakers on Capitol Hill are speaking out that they'd like to see leadership allow for a more robust testing regimen on Capitol Hill especially as lawmakers are working to pass another stimulus bill. © John Moore/Getty Images SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - MARCH 13: A nurse wearing protective clothing emerges from a tent a a coronavirus testing center at the University of Washington Medical center on March 13, 2020 in Seattle, Washington.

Representative Louie Gohmert (R., Texas), who had refused to wear a mask while working on Capitol Hill, has tested positive for the coronavirus , one day after attending a House Judiciary Committee Rapid coronavirus testing for Congress a hot topic again after Rep . Gohmert catches COVID - 19 .

The U.S.’s troubled response to the coronavirus pandemic was on display Friday, as the Trump Administration’s top health officials testified before Congress , warning that the Six months after the U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS) declared the virus a public health emergency

High-ranking Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., says the virus has taken a “deeper hold” around the country and it is time to implement rapid testing at the Capitol.

“We're the Congress of the United States. We're expected to do the people's business. We're not going to be able to do that if half our staff and half the members are in quarantine or, God forbid, get sick.”

Fallout from Gohmert, R-Tex., on Capitol Hill turned up the heat on congressional leaders to enact a better screening process for the hundreds of members and staff who travel back and forth every week. But Pelosi and McConnell indicated they aren’t budging from a decision they made in May, when the administration initially extended their offer of providing Congress with rapid testing machines.

Louis Gohmert, who refused to wear a mask, tests positive for coronavirus

  Louis Gohmert, who refused to wear a mask, tests positive for coronavirus The Texas Republican received the diagnosis during a pre-screening procedure at the White House on Wednesday morning.Gohmert was scheduled to fly to Texas on Wednesday morning with President Donald Trump and tested positive in a pre-screen at the White House. The eighth-term Republican told CNN last month that he was not wearing a mask because he was being tested regularly for the coronavirus.

Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) knowingly put his colleagues in danger after testing positive for COVID - 19 . The far-right congressmember and coronavirus skeptic Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have opposed getting rapid tests for legislators

After former French Open champions Simona Halep and Jelena Ostapenko withdrew, the main draw is headlined by last year’s Roland Garros finalist Marketa Vondrousova, No. 15 Petra Martic and No Rapid coronavirus testing for Congress a hot topic again after Rep . Gohmert catches COVID - 19 .

THE OFFER STILL STANDS

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on the Hill this week indicated multiple times that the administration's offer of sending rapid test machines to a highly-saturated Capitol still stands.

“I think the president was very clear that offering rapid testing for members of Congress from the White House we just thought it was a prudent thing to do since there's so many members that need to be here to conduct the people's business,” Meadows told reporters.

After meeting with Meadows, McCarthy said he would be happy to accept the offer. But one problem stands in the way: Pelosi and McConnell say that with no national testing strategy, they can’t accept it.

There are also logistical and supply concerns. Using the three machines the Trump administration offered it would take more than a full day and a half to test the 550 members and staff currently keeping the House chamber functioning, per a congressional aide. Not to mention the roughly 30,000 individuals in the legislative branch.

GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert, Who Refused to Wear a Mask, Now Has Coronavirus

  GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert, Who Refused to Wear a Mask, Now Has Coronavirus Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) has tested positive for coronavirus after refusing to wear a mask while in the Capitol. The lawmaker said last month that he would not wear a mask because he was being regularly tested for the virus. “[I]f I get it,” he told CNN in June, “you’ll never see me without a mask.” Gohmert, who was in attendance at Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General William Barr, is the seventh representative to contract the virus. Previously to test positive for the virus include Reps. Mario Diaz Balart (R-FL), Neal Dunn (R-FL), Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Ben McAdams (D-UT), Tom Rice (R-SC), and Sen. Rand Paul (R-TN).

"If there is COVID - 19 and flu activity at the same time, this could place a tremendous burden on the health care system related to bed occupancy, laboratory testing needs, personal protective Rapid coronavirus testing for Congress a hot topic again after Rep . Gohmert catches COVID - 19 .

Secondly, given the increasing incidence of COVID - 19 in Georgia in June and July, some cases might have resulted from transmission occurring before or after camp attendance. Yahoo News Video. Rapid coronavirus testing for Congress a hot topic again after Rep . Gohmert catches COVID - 19 .

'IT’S UP TO THE CAPITOL PHYSICIAN'

Pelosi today stood firm on their May 2nd decision when they rejected the tests. “It's not up to Senator McConnell or me, as far as I'm concerned, it's up to the Capitol physician.”

It is not the first time a major decision has been placed on the Capitol Physician, Dr. Brian P. Monahan, whose office has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

On May 4th, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer reversed course on reconvening the House citing concerns from Monahan. Speaker Pelosi has repeatedly urged the public to follow advice from medical experts.

LACK OF NATIONAL TESTING STRATEGY

In addition to the logistical concerns, there are also optics considerations. “How does it look if members of congress can get rapid testing whenever they want but frontline workers and sick patients around the country still cannot get a test?” a Democratic aide told NBC News.

“I think if we had an actual national testing strategy where anyone who wanted a test really could get one, then leadership would feel more comfortable instituting rapid testing at the Capitol,” the aide added.

Congressman who refused to wear a mask tests positive for COVID-19

  Congressman who refused to wear a mask tests positive for COVID-19 Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, who refused to wear a mask in Congress, tests positive for COVID-19. Gohmert, 66, tested positive in a pre-screening procedure at the White House before he was scheduled to fly with President Donald Trump to Texas on Wednesday. Following his positive diagnosis, the representative returned to his Capitol Hill office to inform his staff, people familiar with the matter say.

Rapid coronavirus testing for Congress a hot topic again after Rep . Gohmert catches COVID - 19 . PHOTOS: John Lewis – congressman and civil rights activist – a life of extraordinary service.

The same has been recorded in China, where some coronavirus patients tested positive after seeming to recover, although there are no official A medical staff member in a booth takes samples from a visitor for the Covid - 19 coronavirus test at a walk-thru testing station set up at Jamsil Sports

Senate Health Committee Chairman Alexander has been pushing for a more comprehensive national testing strategy since March. Along with Senator Blunt, R-Mo., the pair helped secure funding for the NIH to “fast track” new technologies to produce millions of tests.

Alexander is renewing his calls on McConnell and Pelosi to accept the administration’s offer of rapid tests.

“I see no reason why given the large number of tests that we’re now doing across the country that we don’t make machines available to members of congress who fly back and forth around the country,” Alexander told NBC. “Not for the purpose of protecting them so much, but for the purpose of protecting the people we might infect if we catch the disease.”

Rep Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said the circumstances are different now.

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“I think there should be rapid testing everywhere," he said. "When we turned down testing three months ago it was because the hospitals didn't have tests, people didn't have tests and so we wanted to make sure they were available for the people who needed them the most.”

While no official response from the Capitol physician’s office, 12 members of Congress have tested positive or presumed positive for COVID-19, and hundreds more congressional staff, aides and U.S. Capitol police officers have as well, according to an NBC News count.

Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert tests positive for the coronavirus after refusing to wear a mask in the Capitol

  Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert tests positive for the coronavirus after refusing to wear a mask in the Capitol Gohmert defended not wearing a mask in an interview with CNN last month, saying he'd only wear a face covering regularly if he contracted the virus. The conservative lawmaker attended Attorney General William Barr's House hearing on Tuesday and reportedly spoke with Barr within six feet without wearing a mask. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, has tested positive for the coronavirus after refusing to wear a mask on the House floor and around the Capitol, Politico first reported Wednesday.

And the $25 million in funding to clean the Capitol complex, appropriated from the CARES Act, has already been depleted.

“While some seem to think rapid testing would be some silver bullet to get Congress back to normalcy and functioning I don’t think that has gotten enough scrutiny,” said a democratic aide familiar.

The issues of false positives, not enough supplies, lack of equipment and days-long testing times considering the thousands of people at the Capitol are of prime concern.

“The NBA has found a way to test 1,500 people nearly daily in their bubble,” said a congressional aide. “I think Congress could figure out the logistics of testing on the Hill.”


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Congressman Louie Gohmert tests positive for coronavirus .
The Texas Republican has not been wearing a mask around the Capitol.Gohmert was supposed to fly to Texas with President Trump on Wednesday, but tested positive for the virus during a pre-screening at the White House, several administration sources confirmed to CBS News. Politico first reported Gohmert's diagnosis.

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