Georgia Republican is 38th member of Congress to test positive for virus

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Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) is the third congressman from his state to test positive.

Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) has tested positive for the coronavirus, his chief of staff confirmed on Monday, becoming the latest of dozens of members of Congress who have contracted the virus.

Scott is the 19th Republican member of the House of Representatives to have tested positive. The others are Rick Allen (GA), Mike Kelly (PA), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL), Neal Dunn (FL), Tom Rice (SC), Morgan Griffith (VA), Louie Gohmert (TX), Rodney Davis (IL), Dan Meuser (PA), Mike Bost (IL), Bill Huizenga (MI), Drew Ferguson (GA), Tim Walberg (MI), Don Young (AK), Dan Newhouse (WA), Doug Lamborn (CO), Bryan Steil (WI), and Jenniffer González-Colón (PR).

All eight senators who were infected are in the GOP: Rand Paul (KY), Bill Cassidy (LA), Ron Johnson (WI), Thom Tillis (NC), Mike Lee (UT), Kelly Loeffler (GA), Chuck Grassley (IA), and Rick Scott (FL).

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Scott is the third representative from Georgia to test positive. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp attended an indoor rally with Ferguson ahead of Election Day and was prompted to quarantine after Ferguson's positive test, according to the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, only 10 Democratic representatives in the House have tested positive: Joe Cunningham (SC), Ben McAdams (UT), Nydia Velázquez (NY), Raúl Grijalva (AZ), Jahana Hayes (CT), Salud Carbajal (CA), Cheri Bustos (IL), Ed Perlmutter (CO), Joe Courtney (CT), and Susie Lee (NV).

In total, there are now 38 members of Congress who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

As the number of virus cases surges across the country, with over 13.6 million infected and 268,000 dead in the United States alone at the time of publication, many Republican lawmakers are flouting safety guidelines, ignoring experts, and encouraging holiday travel.

Last month, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) wrote about feeling "empowered" during the Thanksgiving holiday.

"This Thanksgiving week, whether you decided to.... stay home or visit family; fly or drive; social distance or hug your loved ones, You should feel empowered to do whatever is best for you and your loved ones," Biggs tweeted.

"No member of the mainstream media or bureaucrat should ever take away your birthright of freedom. Kudos to all of the Americans making these free decisions this week. Stay safe, stay well, and stay free," he wrote.

In a session of the Senate last month, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) lashed out when Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) asked him to wear a mask.

"I don't wear a mask when I'm speaking, like most senators. I don't need your instructions," Sullivan said.

Then Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) accused Brown of "an ostentatious sign of fake virtue" for wearing a mask himself.

Many Republican lawmakers appear to be following Donald Trump's lead in downplaying the virus and ignoring public health advice. After contracting the virus himself, Trump resumed in-person rallies and tweeted: "Don't be afraid of COVID. Don't let it dominate your life."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.