87th LegislatureState House5 Texas Democrats Contract Coronavirus While Breaking Quorum in Washington D.C.

Texas Democrats say they will remain in the nation's capital through early August to run out the clock on the current special session.
July 19, 2021
An additional five cases of coronavirus in Washington, D.C. can be traced back to Texas as a   handful of Democratic Texas House members tested positive over the weekend after their first week on the lam.

According to a release by the Texas House Democratic Caucus, one member tested positive on Friday night and informed the rest of their ranks. Each member then immediately tested themselves, none of which came back positive.

Then, on Saturday morning, two more members tested positive followed by two more on Sunday. Each member of the caucus, including those who tested positive, is fully vaccinated.

“The House Democratic Caucus is following all CDC guidance and protocols. This is a sober reminder that COVID is still with us, and though vaccinations offer tremendous protection, we still must take necessary precautions,” said caucus chairman, Rep. Chris Turner (D-Grand Prairie), in a statement.

The Sunday update from the caucus stated that each infected member was experiencing either no symptoms or mild ones.

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One of the positive members is Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio), who said on Sunday, “Today, I received a positive COVID-19 rapid antigen test result. I am fully vaccinated, and had tested negative on Friday and Saturday. I am quarantining until I test negative, and I am grateful to be only experiencing extremely mild symptoms.”

Rep. Celia Israel (D-Austin) said over the weekend that she was among the initial positive tests on Friday. “I hope this instance highlights the sacrifices we are willing to make for the cause of democracy. I would not change anything to protect the right to vote.”

A week ago, nearly 60 House Democrats flew to Washington, D.C. to break quorum and prevent movement of the election bill through the legislature. Since then, the special session has been brought to a screeching halt and while some Democrats, not among those in D.C., have returned to the capitol, a quorum has yet to be restored.

The absent Democrats have not only been criticized for the stalling tactics, but also for not wearing masks on the flight in violation of federal policy and for bringing along for the ride a 12-pack of Miller Lite.

Those Democrats say they will remain in D.C. until August 8, running out the 30-day clock on 2021’s first special session.


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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.