Sen. Ted Cruz announced Sunday that he will self-quarantine after finding out he interacted with an individual at last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference who later tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Last night, I was informed that 10 days ago at CPAC I briefly interacted with an individual who is currently symptomatic and has tested positive for COVID-19,” which is the disease caused by the virus, the Texas Republican said in a statement, adding that the interaction involved a handshake and a “brief conversation.”
The senator said he’s spoken with his personal doctor, and medical officials from the Houston Health Department, the Harris County Public Health Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, he’s notified Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and incoming acting White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
“I’m not experiencing any symptoms, and I feel fine and healthy,” Cruz said. “Given that the interaction was 10 days ago, that the average incubation period is 5-6 days, that the interaction was for less than a minute, and that I have no current symptoms, the medical authorities have advised me that the odds of transmission from the other individual to me were extremely low.”
The senator said that he was told his interaction with the patient does not meet the CDC criteria for self-quarantine, but “out of an abundance of caution, and because of how frequently I interact with my constituents as a part of my job and to give everyone peace of mind, I have decided to remain at my home in Teas this week, until a full 14 days have passed since the CPAC interaction.”
The individual who tested positive for coronavirus had “no interaction” with President Donald Trump or Pence at CPAC, according to the American Conservative Union, which organized the event.
The ACU said Saturday that the individual’s exposure to the virus occurred before the four-day conference that began Feb. 26. The patient has been quarantined in New Jersey and is reportedly under the care of medical professionals.
During his speech at CPAC, the president gave his administration an “A+++” for its work battling the outbreak — despite the administration facing criticism from health professionals for the lack of available testing kits.
Trump’s outgoing acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney accused journalists in his CPAC speech of hyperbolizing the threat of outbreak because “they think this will bring down the president ― that’s what this is all about.”
“Everyone should continue to treat this outbreak seriously and be driven by facts and medical science,” Cruz said Sunday. “We need to be proactive in mobilizing resources to combat this outbreak ― including the $ 8.3 billion in emergency funding we provided last week ― and I encourage everyone to follow the recommendations of the CDC and other health professionals in protecting their own health and welfare, as well as the health and welfare of those around them.”