Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) have all announced that they going into self-quarantine after coming into contact with someone at CPAC 2020 who tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Details: Cruz said in a statement he had a “brief conversation and a handshake” with the person at CPAC 2020, at which President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke. Gosar said he was “with the individual for an extended period of time, and we shook hands several times.” Collins said he was notified Monday of a photo of him with the patient.
- All three lawmakers stressed they’re not experiencing any symptoms.
- Collins, who is running for Georgia’s Senate seat in 2020, was with Trump, HHS Secretary Alex Azar and others at the CDC in Atlanta on Friday. Gaetz was seen traveling with Trump on Air Force earlier on Monday.
Driving the news: The attendee is in quarantine and under medical care in New Jersey after returning a positive result on Saturday. The conservative conference took place in Maryland Feb. 26–29.
What they’re saying: “Given that the interaction was 10 days ago, that the average incubation period is 5-6 days, that the interaction was for less than a minute, and that I have no current symptoms, the medical authorities have advised me that the odds of transmission from the other individual to me were extremely low,” Cruz said.
- “Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution, and because of how frequently I interact with my constituents as a part of my job and to give everyone peace of mind, I have decided to remain at my home in Texas this week, until a full 14 days have passed since the CPAC interaction.”
Ben Goldey, spokesman for Rep. Paul Gosar, told Axios that he “can confirm that the individual and Congressman Gosar took several pictures together. We know this because we have several of the photos in our possession as well.”
- He added that while can’t comment on specific members, “it is my understanding that he does have photos with other Members / VIP’s.”
The big picture: There are now more than 500 coronavirus cases in over 25 U.S. states. The newest reports are in Kansas, Washington, D.C., Virginia, New York, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Maryland, New Jersey and Tennessee. Colorado public health officials are monitoring at least eight presumptive cases. Washington state confirmed 136 cases on Sunday.
- The U.S. death toll stands at 21 — 18 in Washington state, two in Florida and one in California, per data from Johns Hopkins and state health departments.
- Globally, the virus has killed more than 3,800 people and infected nearly 110,000 others.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.