CPAC attendee with coronavirus had contact with ‘several’ members of Congress: physician

The attending physician for the U.S. Capitol said Monday that a coronavirus patient who attended the recent Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, D.C., had contact with “several” members of Congress — two of whom are known and have put themselves in self-quarantine.

In a statement released Monday, the attending physician said the individual who has been diagnosed with coronavirus, or COVID-19, was “able to recall specific names of people he had contact with during the meeting.”

CPAC CHAIR HAD BRIEF CONTACT WITH CORONAVIRUS PATIENT

“Several of these individuals, Members of the Congress, were identified and were contacted on the evening of March 7 by the Office of Attending Physician,” the statement from Dr. Brian Monahan’s office said. “Their physical symptoms were reviewed, and arrangements were made for each individual to speak with Centers for Disease Control experts and their local state public health authorities.”

The statement added that authorities “assessed each person’s contact with the ill individual” and noted that “the overall findings are considered to be a ‘low risk'” to contract the virus.

“The specific recommendations given to each person were based upon their individual risk exposure which was determined through a medically-confidential dialogue between the person and the public health officer,” the statement continued. “Some of these identified individuals elected to observe a management strategy characterized as ‘an abundance of caution’ and self-imposed a 14 day quarantine period.”

Those individuals include Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz. It is unclear if any other members of Congress have been exposed.

Cruz issued a statement Sunday revealing that he had interacted with the ill attendee at CPAC and said he’ll stay at home until two weeks have passed since the encounter.

“I’m not experiencing any symptoms, and I feel fine and healthy,” Cruz said in a statement. “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.”

He added: “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.”

Gosar also put out a statement on Sunday, announcing that he and three additional staffers were under “self-quarantine” after “sustained contact” with the patient.

“I am announcing that I, along with 3 of my senior staff, are officially under self-quarantine after sustained contact at CPAC with a person who has since been hospitalized with the Wuhan Virus. My office will be closed for the week.” Gosar said, adding, “We are all asymptomatic and feel great. But we are being proactive and cautious.”

The White House was made aware of the CPAC attendee’s diagnosis, as both President Trump and Vice President Pence attended and spoke at the conference two weekends ago. The White House said there’s no indication that Trump or Pence were in close proximity to the stricken attendee.

TED CRUZ AMONG LAWMAKERS STAYING HOME AFTER INTERACTING WITH CORONAVIRUS PATIENT AT CPAC

Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, which puts on CPAC, said he had brief and “incidental contact” with the patient.

“I can verify that he had no contact with either the president or the vice president,” Schlapp said. “I can tell you, when the president was on site at CPAC, he lives by what he tells us because I saw him scrub down his hands and clean his hands more than once while he was on the premises, and I did the same, by the way.”

Also Sunday, ACU officials said they were working with the Maryland Department of Health since the CPAC conference was held in that state.

The Department of Health has screened thousands of employees from the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center and the Residence Inn, ACU said.

“At this time, not a single person has reported any unusual illness. Thus the Dept of Health is not restricting movements or interactions with others of those hotel employees,” ACU said. “We continue to remain in close contact with the infected individual and he continues to be doing better. Also at this point, no other CPAC attendee, participant or staff has tested positive for coronavirus.”

Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

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