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Three of the Democratic state legislators who absconded to prevent a vote on a Republican election bill have tested positive for COVID-19 while holed up in Washington, DC — after ditching their face masks as they traveled.
Chris Turner, chairman of the Texas House Democratic Caucus, said Saturday that the three unnamed members, who tested positive on Friday night and Saturday morning, would self-isolate for 10 days. One of the three is experiencing mild symptoms of COVID-19.
All three members had been fully vaccinated before they and nearly 60 other representatives crowded onto buses and chartered planes Tuesday to deny a quorum in a special legislative session called by Gov. Greg Abbott.
In the days since, the group has made the rounds on Capitol Hill to lobby for passage of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, Democrat-pushed bills that would federalize elections and override GOP state laws targeting voter fraud.
The runaway Dems held a non-socially-distanced meeting with Vice President Harris, visited Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in his office, and crowded together to sing an off-key version of “We Shall Overcome” for the press.
They have vowed to remain in the nation’s capital to stymie the Republican-dominated Texas state legislature’s plans to pass a law that would end 24-hour polling places, ban ballot drop boxes, and require voter ID on mail-in ballots — measures that Democrats say are designed to shut out poor and minority voters.
Abbott has vowed to arrest the fugitives when they return.
“Once they step back into the state they will be arrested and brought back to the Capitol and we will be conducting business,” the governor pledged Tuesday.
The coronavirus cases drew mockery on social media.
“This is a group of people who said Greg Abbott was going to kill Texans by reopening the state and tossing the mask mandate,” conservative commentator Erick Erickson tweeted. “Then they went to DC and didn’t wear masks.”
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