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DFL scorches 3 GOP lawmakers for flying after COVID exposure

The congressmen were exposed to COVID-19 on Air Force One.
Reps. Pete Stauber, Tom Emmer and Jim Hagedorn

Minnesota Democrats are pulling no punches in their response to the news that three GOP congressmen flew on an airplane shorty after exposure to COVID-19. 

This weekend, the DFL Party issued a statement about the decision of reps. Pete Stauber, Tom Emmer and Jim Hagedorn to board a Delta flight two days after flying on Air Force One with President Donald Trump — who was likely infected with coronavirus at the time.

A number of people around Trump last week have also tested positive for COVID-19, including First Lady Melania Trump, presidential aide Hope Hicks and a number of Republican senators.

Stauber, Emmer and Hagedorn tested negative for the virus, but violated Delta policy when they flew from Washington, D.C. to Minneapolis on Friday. The airline prohibits flying if a person has had a known exposure to COVID-19. 

In its statement on the controversy, the DFL accused the three Republicans of having "deliberately put the health and safety of their fellow passengers at serious risk," and pointed out that "a negative test soon after exposure is nearly meaningless.”

The statement, attributed to DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin, continued:

“Millions of Americans have sacrificed so much to slow the spread of COVID-19, yet Congressmen Emmer, Stauber, and Hagedorn could not even wait a few days to board an airplane. These Congressmen’s stupidity and disregard for the well-being of their fellow passengers is staggering.”

The DFL also quoted infectious disease expert Dr. Michael Osterholm, who stated the following about testing for COVID-19 soon after exposure: 

“There is no get out of jail card here with one test. If they were exposed in the last 2 to 3 days, they might not actually come down with this infection and be test positive for up to 14 days… we’ve had onsets late, after 7 or 8 days, and test positives after 7 or 8 days, so having a test in those first 3 days after you’ve been exposed is almost meaningless.”

As of this writing, none of the three congressmen has addressed the controversy.

Meanwhile, President Trump continues to receive treatment for his COVID-19 infection at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

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