GOP lawmaker tests positive for Covid-19 a week after joining anti-mask requirement lawsuit
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GOP lawmaker tests positive for Covid-19 a week after joining anti-mask requirement lawsuit

Rep. Ralph Norman tested positive for Covid-19, the South Carolina Republican announced Thursday, coming one week after he joined in a lawsuit against Speaker Nancy Pelosi over being fined for not wearing a mask on the floor of the House.

“After experiencing minor symptoms this morning, I sought a COVID-19 test and was just informed the test results were positive. Thankfully, I have been fully vaccinated and my symptoms remain mild. To every extent possible, I will continue my work virtually while in quarantine for the next ten (10) days,” Norman wrote in his statement on Twitter.

Vaccine breakthrough infections are to be expected, as the vaccines are meant to prevent severe illness and hospitalization.

Norman as well as Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, announced late last month that they were filing a lawsuit against Pelosi and two House administrators over being fined $500 each for not wearing their masks on the floor in a demonstration against the House mask requirement.

Norman was also among the group of GOP lawmakers who protested by marching en masse from the House to the Senate, where masks were not required, though some still choose to wear them.

Norman’s positive test is the second among South Carolina lawmakers just this week and the third reported among members of Congress in less than four weeks. All three members were fully vaccinated and experienced mild symptoms. These three recent cases follow several months without any lawmaker announcing a positive test result.

On Monday, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina announced he tested positive for Covid-19, and GOP Rep. Vern Buchanan of Florida made public on July 19 that he tested positive for the coronavirus.

These three cases come as the Delta variant spreads across the country, prompting many community leaders to revisit their previous decisions to relax pandemic-era protocols. The Office of the Attending Physician in the US Congress reinstated mask requirements for the vaccinated and unvaccinated in the House, but not in the Senate, which infuriated some House members.

South Carolina’s seven-day average of new Covid cases has increased steadily in recent weeks and only 40.9% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated.

This story and headline have been updated with additional developments Friday.

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