It’s not nice and certainly unfeeling to make light of a disease that spreads rapidly and can kill a lot of people. That seems to be the lesson here. Not only is it rude and boorish, it paints a huge bullseye of karma on your ass.
Days after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) wore an enormous gas mask during a House floor vote on an emergency funding package for the coronavirus response, the congressman announced that he would self-quarantine for 14 days after coming into contact with a Conservative Political Action Conference participant who tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Gaetz said on Twitter that he has not experienced any symptoms but was tested Monday and expects results soon.
“Under doctor’s usual precautionary recommendations, he’ll remain self-quarantined until the 14-day period expires this week,” his Twitter account announced, hours after Gaetz traveled on Air Force One with President Trump.
Gaetz accompanied Trump from Florida to Washington, according to the White House pool report.
Gaetz attended the conservative conference last month. Other Republican congressmen, Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Rep. Douglas A. Collins (R-Ga.), who attended the same conference have announced they would self-quarantine even though they weren’t feeling symptoms.
Collins’s announcement comes on the heels of Trump’s visit to Georgia, where the congressman greeted the president with a handshake.
So I’m not going to laugh sardonically and point at them, and obvious out-of-the-park comments about self-quarantining are set aside. But even if I did, I doubt that it will sink in to the people who so desperately need to hear them.
By the way, if you’re keeping track of the virus and news about it, the good folks at Balloon Juice are doing a better job than the CDC of keeping people informed.
Meanwhile, wash your hands. Greet people with a nod, a bow, or, if you’re a total nerd, use the Vulcan salute. Live long and prosper.