Two more Texas Democrats have tested positive for coronavirus during their trip to Washington, D.C., just one day after three of their colleagues learned they had contracted the virus as well.
According to the Texas Tribune, the number of COVID-positive Texas state lawmakers in the nation’s capital is now five. The news comes on the same day that Vice President Kamala Harris dropped by Walter Reed Medical Center for a “routine” visit after meeting with the group of lawmakers just last week.
The group of Democrats fled the Lone Star State to deny Republicans in the state legislature a quorum, which refers to the minimum number of lawmakers needed to carry out legislative business.
The lawmakers thereby obstructed Republicans’ attempt to pass election integrity legislation that the Democrats disliked.
They traveled by plane to Washington, D.C., garnering national attention, and were criticized for pictures that appeared to show them traveling without masks.
In total, more than 50 state lawmakers made the trip and were said to be tested after news of the first confirmed case broke last week.
The bill in question would strengthen voter ID requirements for mail-in ballots, which became a source of concern in the lead-up to, and in the aftermath of, the 2020 election.
It is unclear whether the obstruction attempt will be successful.
Texas’ Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has said he will continue to call for special sessions until the Democrats return. Abbott has also said the Democrats will be arrested when they arrive back in Texas.
The Republican governor hit back at the notion that the voting rights bill would make it harder to residents to vote in a tweet on Sunday.
Facts matter. Reckless rhetoric doesn’t.
The Texas election integrity bill doesn’t disenfranchise Texas voters.
It makes elections fair and uniform.
Anyone saying that the bill denies people the right to vote is simply lying. https://t.co/dkpxirug4F
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 18, 2021
The news of more positive cases among the bolting Democrats comes as states throughout the U.S. are grappling with a rise in infections caused by the contagious Delta variant.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that confirmed cases throughout the U.S. are on the rise. The most recent seven-day moving average of daily new cases is 26,306, which marks a 69.3% increase when compared with the previous 7-day moving average (15,541).
Story cited here.