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Perry refused to wear mask during Capitol siege; now someone in the room tested positive

Staff and wire report
In this image from video, Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., speaks as the House debates the objection to confirm the Electoral College vote from Pennsylvania, at the U.S. Capitol early Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (House Television via AP)

Rep. Scott Perry is one of several Republicans seen refusing to accept a mask to wear during the siege on the U.S. Capitol in a video obtained by CNN, and now a person who also was in the room has tested positive for the coronavirus.

On Sunday, the Capitol's attending physician notified all lawmakers that they could have been exposed to someone testing positive for COVID-19 while sheltering in place during the Capitol siege and urged them to be tested. The infected individual was not named.

Dr. Brian Moynihan wrote that “many members of the House community were in protective isolation in the large room — some for several hours” on Wednesday. He said “individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection.”

Perry, R-Carroll Township, was sheltering with other members of Congress in a secure location Wednesday while a mob of Trump supporters was breaking into the Capitol building, according to CNN. 

The video shows members of the House gathered in a room. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., can be seen offering disposable masks to several people sitting in close proximity to each other.

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Six House Republicans, including Perry, refused to accept the masks. CNN identifies the others as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga.; Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla.; Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.; Rep. Michael Cloud, R-Texas; and Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif.

Some members of Congress huddled for hours in the large room, while others were there for a shorter period.

Rochester told CNN Friday she was "very concerned we were sitting in a super-spreader event, but instead of sitting back and lamenting, I tried to go into action to try and persuade people to put them on."

Some lawmakers and staff were furious after the video surfaced.

Greene's office responded in a statement: "Congresswoman Greene is a healthy adult who tested negative for COVID at the White House just this week. She does not believe healthy Americans should be forced to muzzle themselves with a mask. America needs to reopen and get back to normal."

Under House rules, members are required to wear a mask while on the floor of the chamber and during committee meetings.