3 Texas Democratic lawmakers who fled the state to block GOP bills tested positive for COVID-19 in Washington, DC

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3 Texas Democratic lawmakers who fled the state to block GOP bills tested positive for COVID-19 in Washington, DC
Al Drago/Getty Images
  • Three Texas House Democrats, all of whom were vaccinated, tested positive for COVID-19 while in DC.
  • It is rare but possible for vaccinated people to get COVID-19, but cases are typically mild.
  • The lawmakers fled the state last week to block GOP legislation, notably a restrictive voting bill.

Three Democratic members of the Texas House of Representatives have tested positive for COVID-19 while in Washington, DC, the Texas House Democratic Caucus said in a statement on Saturday.

The lawmakers fled the Lone Star State in a dramatic walkout last week to block a number of Republican bills from passing in a legislative special session, most notably a restrictive voting bill championed by GOP Gov. Greg Abbott and Republican lawmakers.

In a statement provided to Insider, the caucus said that the members, who have not been identified, were fully vaccinated.

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After one lawmaker tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, other members of the delegation were given rapid tests. Two more tested positive on Saturday.

"The House Democratic Caucus is following all CDC [Centers for Disease Control] 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," state Rep. Chris Turner, the caucus chairman, said in a statement. "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."

It is possible to test positive for COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated.

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Known as "breakthrough" infections, cases like those involving the Texas legislators are typically mild and possibly less contagious, Insider's Andrea Michelson and Mia de Graaf previously reported.

Read more: The definitive oral history of how Trump took over the GOP, as told to us by Cruz, Rubio, and 20 more insiders

According to the CDC, while the risk of contracting the COVID-19 while vaccinated is low, vaccinated people who experience virus symptoms should isolate themselves from others and get clinically evaluated and tested. Vaccinated people without symptoms do not need to isolate or get tested after possible exposure.

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Vice President Kamala Harris met with members of the caucus last Tuesday.

In a statement, Harris senior advisor and chief spokesperson Symone Sanders said that the vice president was not in close proximity with the lawmakers who tested positive and didn't need to take further action.

"Based on the timeline of these positive tests, it was determined the Vice President and her staff present at the meeting were not at risk of exposure because they were not in close contact with those who tested positive and therefore do not need to be tested or quarantined," she said. "The Vice President and her staff are fully vaccinated," Sanders added.

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Since arriving in Washington, DC, the lawmakers have also met with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

However, according to a source who spoke with The Hill, none of the lawmakers who have tested positive met with the two Democratic senators.

Texas Democrats hope to put a spotlight on national voting-rights legislation while reinforcing their fervent opposition to the Texas voting legislation, which would ban drive-thru voting and 24-hour voting centers, add new voter identification requirements to mail-in ballots, and empower partisan poll watchers, among other measures.

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