- The Washington Times - Monday, July 19, 2021

Two more of the Texas House Democrats who absconded to Washington, D.C., to prevent a vote on election legislation have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total to five.

State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer identified himself as one of the additional two legislators who tested positive on Sunday for COVID-19. All five were fully vaccinated, according to the Democratic caucus.

“Today, I received a positive COVID-19 rapid antigen test result,” Mr. Fischer said in a statement on Twitter. “I am fully vaccinated, and had tested negative on Friday and Saturday. I am quarantining until I test negative, and I am grateful to be only experiencing extremely mild symptoms.”

The names of the five have not been released, but state Rep. Celia Israel said Saturday that she was one of the first three who tested positive while in Washington, D.C.

Nearly 60 Texas House Democrats flew July 12 to Washington Dulles International Airport on two chartered jets to break quorum and prevent the Republican-controlled House from passing legislation that Democrats have decried as a voter-suppression bill and Republicans have defended as needed to ensure election integrity.

The Texas Senate passed the measure last week by 18-4 on a party-line vote, maintaining a quorum even though eight Democrats senators have reportedly joined the House Democrats in Washington, D.C.

In his statement, Mr. Fischer said: “I am quarantining until I test negative, and I am grateful to only be experiencing extremely mild symptoms.”

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan sent his wishes Sunday for the Democrats’ recovery, tweeting that the “health and well-being of our House colleagues is at the forefront of our thoughts tonight.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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