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Congressman who wore gas mask on House floor now self-quarantined

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Posted at 2:34 PM, Mar 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-09 16:49:52-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz is under self-quarantine after coming in contact with a person at a conference who tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

The Florida congressman’s team made the announcement on Twitter Monday, 11 days after coming in contact with the infected person at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

“While the Congressman is not experiencing symptoms, he received testing today and expects results soon,” a tweet from the congressman’s account says. “Under doctor's usual precautionary recommendations, he'll remain self-quarantined until the 14-day period expires this week.”

Gaetz made headlines last week when he donned a gas mask on the House floor amid the outbreak of the virus. A tweet from the lawmaker’s account says he was demonstrating his concern, but critics have accused him of making light of the situation.

Gaetz isn’t the first lawmaker to be placed in self-quarantine. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia separately said they will take the step out of caution after interacting with someone who tested positive for the virus at CPAC.

Axios and CNBC report that Gaetz and Collins both came in contact with President Donald Trump before they were self-quarantined. Gaetz flew on Air Force One with Trump on Monday and Collins was photographed shaking hands with the president on Friday.