Pelosi: 'I kept my distance' from members at Capitol, including one presumed to have coronavirus

On Friday, Pelosi stood near Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., who said Monday that she has been “diagnosed with presumed coronavirus infection."

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By Rebecca Shabad

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Tuesday that she kept her distance from all of her congressional colleagues last week and doesn’t need a test for coronavirus despite being in close quarters with a member who is presumed to be infected.

In an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Pelosi was asked whether she’s concerned that when she was at the Capitol on Friday for the vote on the third coronavirus relief package, she stood near Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., who said Monday that she was “diagnosed with presumed coronavirus infection.”

“No,” Pelosi said. “In terms of my situation, I kept my distance. You know, I said we all had to be six feet apart, and I kept my distance from all of the members.”

Velazquez stood behind Pelosi at the bill signing ceremony Friday for the coronavirus legislation in the Rayburn Room off of the House floor. Once the signing concluded, Velazquez was seen speaking to Pelosi with a small group of members in the room.

“We were very, very spaced in the room,” Pelosi said. “We took a bigger room so that we could have more space among us. And if you look at the picture, you'll see that the congresswoman is well in her own space in that picture.”

Pelosi said on “Morning Joe” that she had called the doctor and described the experience she had with members on Friday, and he told her that her situation was “low risk” and she had “no reason to take on any measures.” She said it would have been a different story if she had had lunch for two hours with a member who tested positive.

Velazquez had traveled to Washington Thursday night, her spokesman said, and she returned to New York on Friday. Many members returned to Washington for the vote after Democratic leaders notified them that there could be a recorded vote because of an effort by Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., to force that voting method. The measure ultimately passed by voice vote.

In her interview, Pelosi criticized President Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus outbreak and called on him to use the powers of the Defense Production Act to continue sending personal protective equipment to states.

Trump responded in a tweet after the interview, saying he had watched it "in order to see what Nancy Pelosi had to say, & what moves she was planning to further hurt our Country. Actually, other than her usual complaining that I’m a terrible person, she wasn’t bad. Still praying!"