Senator Ted Cruz issued a statement on Sunday revealing that he had interacted with someone who had tested positive for the coronavirus at last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). As a result, he will have to stay at home until two weeks have passed since the encounter.
Another congressman Paul Gosar announced that he and three additional members of staff would also be under “self-quarantine”.
Mr Gosar said he and the members of staff had “sustained contact” with a virus patient.
Officials with the American Conservative Union (ACU) which hosted CPAC, said that the attendee had been exposed before the conference.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also confirmed the case.
Mr Cruz said that the interaction with the individual “consisted of a brief conversation and a handshake.”
He continued: “I’m not experiencing any symptoms, and I feel fine and healthy. 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 also said that he did not meet the CDC criteria for self-quarantine because testing did not work when people did not show symptoms.
He added: “The medical authorities explicitly advised me that, given the above criteria, the people who have interacted with me in the 10 days since CPAC should not be concerned about potential transmission.”
The senator said that he had decided to remain at his home in Texas until two weeks had passed.
He said he wanted to also “give everyone peace of mind.”
“Everyone should continue to treat this outbreak seriously and be driven by facts and medical science.
“We need to continue to be proactive in mobilizing resources to combat this outbreak—including the $8.3billion (£6.3million) in emergency funding we provided last week—and I encourage everyone to follow the recommendations of the CDC and other health professionals in protecting their own health and welfare, as well as the health and welfare of those around them.” Mr Cruz said.
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Mr Gosar also tweeted an announcement saying that he will also be under quarantine.
He said: “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 hospitalised with the Wuhan Virus.
“My office will be closed for the week.
“We are all asymptomatic and feel great. But we are being proactive and cautious.”
The Department of Health has also screened thousands of employees from the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center and the Residence Inn, ACU said.
The 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.
“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.”
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