PA House Dems Claim GOP Didn't Inform Them Of Rep.'s Positive COVID-19 Test

Democratic Rep. Brian Shaw goes on 12 minute long angry rant

Andrew Limberg
May 28, 2020 - 10:19 am

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    HARRISBURG (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - There’s a coronavirus controversy in Harrisburg, where state Representative Andrew Lewis of Dauphin County tested positive a week ago.

    He and three over GOP members have been in self-isolation.

    House Democrats say they were not notified of the positive test.

    Lewis said he wanted to protect people’s privacy and that is why he didn’t announce the positive test.

    “Out of respect for my family, and those who I may have exposed, I chose to keep my positive case private. Now that I have fully recovered and completed the quarantine as required by the Department of Health, I feel now is the appropriate time to share this information with the public and my constituents and I look forward to being a resource in sharing my experiences with COVID-19 and helping our community navigate this crisis together,” Lewis said in a statement.

    “I feel very fortunate to report I suffered only mild symptoms, a fever that lasted roughly 24 hours, and a brief cough. I feel completely fine and I look forward to fully resuming my duties to the people of the 105th district.”

    In a Facebook live session, Lewis said he started feeling ill on May 16 he had fatigue, a fever and a light cough and then tested positive on May 20.

    Lewis says he was last at the capitol building on May 14 and adds he wore a mask and didn’t shake any hands that day.

    He says he notified anyone he was in contact with those he interacted with and “followed the isolation procedures.”

    Democratic Rep. Brian Sims out of Philadelphia took to Facebook live on Wednesday calling house Republicans hypocrites for calling for the state to reopen when they knew a member of their party had tested positive for COVID-19.

    WARNING: Contains strong language.

    “It’s not your business to put my life at risk, it’s not your businesses to put the lives of the children of our members at risk of the spouses of our members at risk,” said Sims.

    Sims also called for the resignation of House Speaker Mike Turzai.

    Democratic leader Frank Dermody of Allegheny County expressed his concern for the lack of transparency in a statement.

    “While we are pleased to learn that this House member seems to have recovered, it is simply unacceptable that some House Republicans knew about this for more than a week and sat on that knowledge,” he said.

    “Knowing how House members and staff work closely together at the Capitol, we should have been made aware of this much sooner. We should not have learned of it from a media report,” Dermody said. “In the last two weeks alone, there were six days of voting session here at the Capitol and more than 15 separate meetings of House committees voting on dozens of bills. For those members who journeyed to the Capitol in person, each of these meetings raises the risk of possible exposure.

    “What makes this situation even more galling is that some House members, a vocal few, have attempted to make a virtue out of not wearing a mask when in close proximity to others. One of them testified to a full committee last week and also spoke on the House floor. This attitude shows a fundamental lack of respect for fellow lawmakers, our staff and our families back home. On their behalf, we are demanding more answers about this than we’ve received thus far.”