Washington, D.C. (Washington Insider Magazine) – With the Delta variant arriving on Capitol Hill, it has toppled any sense of normalcy that the White House was feeling. Infections from the virus have definitely crept back onto the Hill.
House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, had a trip to Israel planned, and it got postponed. Masks are worn by nearly half of the House members again. A “proof of vaccination” had to be shown by a Senate Democrat just to enter the Capitol.
“The sense of calm that had just begun to settle across the complex after the deadly pandemic and insurrection” is now shattered as the Delta variant has crept onto the Hill.
The Capitol doctor has confirmed the fact on Tuesday that the Delta variant is spreading not only within the Capitol but also across the U.S. There have been several people on the Hill who have tested positive for the Delta virus. There have been no known cases at the Capitol of the virus since last January. This sends a sense of unease for the many people who “traverse the Capitol complex each day.”
Representative Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), said, “It’ a nightmare. The mood is one of frustration and concern…It’s a disappointing turn of events.” Raskin and nearly half of the members of the House were wearing masks on Tuesday.
Representative Susan Wild (D-Pa.) added, “I’m feeling a lot more anxiety about it. This is nothing to be messed around with.” Wild has been wearing a mask again since the Delta variant has been spreading.
At this time, Capitol physician Brian Monahan said that he is “not reinstating a mask mandate for the House and Senate office buildings.” However, on Tuesday there was a letter to the offices on the Hill warning of the Delta variant being more contagious and could pose “a dire health risk to unvaccinated individuals.”
Already, some of the offices on the Hill have downsized public events. Some have even canceled programs. Texas Representative Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, told Politico that some of the GOP leaders “have now decided to forgo a planned trip to Israel in August.”