Three fugitive Texas Democrats test positive for COVID after packing onto $100K private jet wearing NO masks to flee to DC and meet with Kamala Harris having sabotaged state’s voting reform
- 60 Democratic lawmakers from Texas fled the state on Monday to block the passing of an election integrity bill proposed by Republicans
- The Democrats packed into a private plane bound for DC and did not wear face masks
- In the intervening days, the group has met with many high-powered politicians in the nation’s capitol, including Kamala Harris
- However, three of the Texas Democrats have now tested positive to COVID-19
- All three have been fully vaccinated, but one of the lawmakers is experiencing symptoms
Three Texas Democrats have tested positive for COVID-19 five days after they packed onto private jets without wearing face masks and snapped selfies intended to taunt their Republican rivals.
On Monday, 60 left-wing lawmakers fled Texas in order to block a ‘restrictive’ voting reform bill proposed by conservatives. They chartered two flights to Washington, DC that purportedly cost a whopping $100,000.
The group has since been staying at a plush hotel in the nation’s capital and schmoozing with many high-powered politicians. They even met with Vice President Kamala Harris during a closed-door meeting on Tuesday.
Several of the Texas Democrats have publicly endorsed wearing face masks, but it seems they are not so enthused about using the coverings in private. The Austin American Statesman claims that the group has only used masks ‘sparingly’ at meetings in DC.
Officials have not released the names of the three Democrats who have contracted the coronavirus, but they are now in self-isolation and will stay there for at least 10 days.
The outbreak was discovered on Friday, when one of the lawmakers tested positive after taking a rapid COVID test.
Others from the group were subsequently tested on Saturday morning, and two more were found to be positive. One of them is said to be experiencing ‘mild’ symptoms.
All three of the infected officials are fully vaccinated.
Three Texas Democrats who fled the Lone Star state in a private jet in order to block election integrity bills have now tested positive for COVID- 19
The Democrats left Austin to avoid the vote on two election bills, touching down in Washington D.C. on Monday evening in two private jets (pictured)
The group was also seen on board a bus without a face mask in sight
The Texas Democrats have since been staying at a plush hotel in Washington, DC and have been out and about in the community. Many of them even met with Vice President Kamala Harris during a closed-door meeting near the Capitol on Tuesday
According to the Austin American Statesman, ‘there was a notable increase in the use of face coverings among lawmakers and Democratic staffers at their hotel on Saturday morning’.
In statement on Saturday, Rep. Chris Turner, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said: ‘The House Democratic Caucus is following all CDC guidance and protocols.
‘This is a sober reminder that COVID is still with us, and though vaccinations offer tremendous protection, we still must take necessary precautions. We are in touch with public health experts in Texas to provide additional guidance. Our caucus will follow all recommendations from public health experts as we continue our work.’
The Texas Democrats fled the Lone Star State in order to break a quorum and block the Republican-controlled Texas State House from passing new voting rights legislation.
Republicans are seeking to pass two new ‘election integrity’ bills, whereby voting would be allowed on election days from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and mail voters would also be asked to verify their identities with a state ID number or the last four digits of their Social Security number.
But Democrats have called the bills ‘restrictive’ and say they are designed to turn citizens off voting and restrict access to the polls in minority communities.
The group fled from Texas before the bills could be voted on, and they plan to wait out the full 30-day legislative session in Washington D.C.
The group are staying at the Washington Plaza Hotel, where rooms start at $199 a night.
Their decision to flee infuriated their Republican rivals, who have voted to arrest them when they return to the state.
Massachusetts progressive Senator Elizabeth Warren met with the group of runaway Texas lawmakers at the Capitol on Wednesday
The Washington Plaza is located in Northwest Washington, D.C. The cost of rooms on Tuesday night starts at $199
Texas Democrats exit the $199-a-night Washington Plaza hotel on Tuesday morning to board coach buses en route to the Capitol
‘Members, a sergeant-at-arms and any officer appointed by him are directed to send for all absentees whose attendance is not excused for the purpose of securing and maintaining their attendance under warrant of arrest if necessary,’ Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan announced from the State House floor after the vote on Tuesday.
Texas House rules allow the sergeant-at-arms to arrest members who are not present at the Capitol for a vote.
Meanwhile, the Democrats have been in D.C. portraying themselves as heroes in the fight against voter suppression.
VP Harris praised the group, as did Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who met with them on Wednesday.
President Biden has not met with the lawmakers but, in a statement, ‘praised their courage’.
The Texas State House adjourned on Tuesday morning. The remaining lawmakers – mostly Republican – voted 76-4 to arrest Democrat members who broke the quorum by fleeing to Washington D.C.
Several of the Democratic Reps have also been active on social media, including Rep. Donna Howard who posted a picture of her wet laundry after she was forced to clean it in the sink at her hotel.
‘You bet we’re recognizing & honoring our country’s heritage’, she wrote on Twitter. ‘As most Texans, tho, this is what we’re doing tonight – using whatever is accessible, washing our clothes in the sink’.
She included a picture of her leopard print t-shirt and panties, three plain pairs of underpants, and a bra drying over the shower rail in her hotel room.
Howard was widely mocked for sharing the picture from her hotel bedroom, with many pointing out she had plenty of time to pack before leaving Texas.
‘You had plenty of to pack a bag tho’, one user wrote.
Another pointed out she could easily have had her clothes washed at a nearby laundromat, and suggested the tweet was a joke.
‘I can walk two blocks to a laundromat and have them wash, dry, and fold my clothes in like 3 hours for $.75/lb. How is this not a bit?’
Others responded sarcastically to the runaway Texan Democrat, saying: ‘We are in awe of your sacrifice. I cannot even fathom how you are staying strong through these difficult times. A true hero’, one user wrote.
Democratic State Representative Donna Howard was mocked on Thursday after posting a picture of her clothes, saying she washed them in her sink
TEXAS’ VOTING RIGHTS BILLS: WHAT’S IN THEM AND WHY THE DEMOCRATS THINK THEY ‘RESTRICT’ ELECTIONS
- The bills – House Bill 3 and Senate Bill 1 – were filed last week during a special legislative session called by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
- The proposed legislation creates harsher criminal penalties for people who help voters at the polls or those planning to vote by mail.
- The bills, if passed, would be a ban on 24-hour voting. Instead, there would be a new voting window from 6am to 10pm on election day.
- Rules would require residents to fill out paperwork if you are taking someone who is not a relative to vote in person.
- Regulations would require someone to exit their car during curbside voting.
- Bills would mean voters would have to provide their drivers license or the last four digits of their social security number to cast a ballot.
- New rules would stop local election officials from sending out mail-in ballots to those who haven’t requested them.
- Drive-in voting would be banned.
- Expands what partisan poll watchers can observe during counts.
- Prohibits poll watchers from being removed for violating election laws.
- Both bills would increase early voting from eight to nine hours.
- Also lowers the population threshold required for counties to provide at least 12 hours of early voting each weekday of the second week of early voting.
- Protects the legitimacy of elections and avoids fraud, according to Republicans.
Democrats argue that:
- The measures included in the bills would mainly stop minority communities and shift workers from voting because of the restricted hours.
- The regulations in the bills would make it harder to control disruptive partisan poll watchers.
- Would make it easier for losing candidates to try and overturn election results and harass winning candidates with court battles and recounts.
- Democrats also claim the provisions do nothing to make elections more secure in Texas.
- Insists the proposed legislation would help further the claims of election fraud Donald Trump has made in the aftermath of the 2020 election.
- Argue that restricted voting hours on a Sunday would have impacted the ability of black churchgoers, also known as ‘souls of the polls’, to cast their ballots.
- They instead want the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act to be passed by Congress to address elections on a federal level.
- But Republicans insist that this is a power grab and would represent a ‘federal takeover’ of elections
The tweet comes after fellow runaway Democrat Gene Wu trolled Fox News after it picked up a picture of his ‘first meal as a fugitive’ – a caesar salad – after he posted an image on Twitter.
He followed up with a series of food related tweets and joked he was now working as a Fox News reporter.
‘BREAKING NEWS Fox News!’ Gene Wu wrote on Twitter Wednesday morning. ‘Democrat’s breakfast only includes fruit, yogurt, and coffee!’
He included an image of his breakfast, likely a continental offering at the $199 per night Washington Plaza Hotel.
‘No steak? No whiskey? What a wuss!’ the Democratic Texas lawmaker sarcastically continued in his tweet. ‘(You should pay me… being a Fox News reporter is easy as falling off the back of a pickup truck.)’
He posted an image of a caesar salad Tuesday, saying it was his ‘first meal as a fugitive’
Democratic Texas Representative Gene Wu continued on Wednesday to troll Fox News by posting images of his food as Twitter users excoriate him for making light of him and 60 other state lawmakers fleeing Texas to block passage of Republican voting laws
He told Fox in a tweet Wednesday ‘I made this for you’ along with a picture of his breakfast fruit arranged on his plate in a smiley face
During a press conference in front of the Capitol on Tuesday morning, the large group broke out into song with a Civil Rights-era gospel, and getting the words wrong in claiming ‘we will overcome’ after arriving in D.C. on a pair of jets that cost them $100,000 to charter.
‘I’m not worried about the threat of being arrested,’ Texas State Representative Jasmine Crockett told CNN the morning after arriving in D.C.
‘I don’t worry probably because I know the law,’ she continued. ‘I’ve not committed a crime, so I can’t get arrested.’
Trey Martinez Fischer, a fellow Democratic member of the Texas State House, said Tuesday that the group of around 60 lawmakers plan to wait out the full 30-day legislative session in Washington D.C.
‘This is the risk that we take to stand up for democracy,’ Martinez Fisher told CNN.
The large group of Texas Democratic lawmakers who fled their state on Monday to avoid voting on Republicans’ election legislation held a press conference outside the Capitol on Tuesday morning. The lawmakers broke out in gospel song ‘We Shall Overcome’
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