When Texas Democrats fled their home state for Washington, D.C., they framed themselves as earning a page in the history books for their defense of voting rights.
Instead, they might be remembered as the individuals responsible for one of America’s highest-profile super spreader events, according to one doctor.
Last week, Texas Democrats were faced with a special legislative session, during which they were supposed to consider an election integrity bill drafted by Republicans that liberals decided was unfair. A group of Texas Democratic lawmakers concluded that rather than stay in Texas to debate the bill, they would leave the state.
The tactic ensured that no quorum exists in the Texas state House, meaning the bill is sidelined for as long as the Democrats bop around Capitol Hill and their hotel.
But the gimmick came with an unexpected fellow traveler — the coronavirus.
To date, the virus has infected at least six Democrats whose giddy, maskless flight aboard a crowded jet was well chronicled, coming as it did at a time when other air travelers were required to wear masks, according to Fox News.
The Texans may have also spread the virus to a White House aide and a staffer of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
For this feat, Dr. Marc Siegel used the term “super-spreader” to describe the Democrats’ star-crossed attempt to foil Republicans.
“A lot of people didn’t get sick because they were vaccinated,” he told Fox.
“This is a super-spreader event with less spread because of the vaccine — that’s the glass half full,” Siegel said.
Without the vaccine, all of the D.C. Democrats who met the runaway Texans at a reception last week would have been at risk of infection, he added.
But Siegel stressed that despite what he called “word games” Democrats are using to downplay the consequences of their actions, they still in fact spread the virus.
“They’re creating divisiveness by refusing to acknowledge a medical reality,” he said concerning the White House’s reluctance to use the term “super-spreader.”
That hesitancy was not shared by others.
— Nicholas Kerr (@kerrni) July 19, 2021
6 of the democrats who traveled from Texas and 2 of the staff they met in DC are now infected with SARS-CoV2.https://t.co/ojyO7UviZ8
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) July 20, 2021
A farce becomes a super spreader event https://t.co/u4eqhoSrhf
— Matt Mackowiak (@MattMackowiak) July 17, 2021
The vaccine ameliorates many symptoms, Siegel said, and can reduce the risk of transmission, but it is not a magic bullet. Nor, he said, should the vaccine be expected to provide total immunity against all variants, including the fast-spreading delta variant.
“I want people to understand this doesn’t shed a shadow on the vaccine,” he said.
“The numbers are consistent. The only variability here is how much virus you have in your nose – the more virus, the more you could be a super-spreader.”
Siegel criticized Democrats for their decision not to wear masks, calling it a piece of “recklessness and mixed messaging.”
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