A total of 123 congressional aides and contractors have either tested positive for the Covid virus or are being presumed to have the disease, according to Roll Call, quoting Ashley Phelps, a spokesman for Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Administration.
“The count includes 46 Capitol Police employees, 42 Architect of the Capitol employees and 35 contractors working on the Cannon Building renovation project. These numbers reflect total cases since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. As of Oct. 5, there are 22 Capitol Police employees who are on paid administrative leave,” Roll Call reports.
With approximately 20,000 Hill aides and employees, 123 positives produces an infection rate of 0.615 percent. Republicans like Davis, who have been especially hard on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for not instituting mandatory testing for all Members and workers, are likely to question the accuracy of that infection rate precisely because it’s based on incomplete testing.
But Pelosi’s defenders are just as likely to point to the microscopically low infection rate as evidence that the Speaker’s approach to the issue — keeping as many Members and aides away from the capitol complex as possible — has worked extraordinarily well.
What do you think? Should some form of mandatory, regularly scheduled regime of Covid testing be instituted among Members of Congress, their personal and committee staffs, employees at Hill agencies like the Capitol Police and Congressional Budget Office and contractors?