Several news agencies are reporting that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has placed himself into “self-quarantine” this week at his Texas home, because he interacted with a person at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) who has tested positive for coronavirus.
Cruz said on Twitter that he had only a brief conversation and shook hands with the person. The interaction took place 10 days ago, he said.
Maryland officials warned Saturday that the person who attended the recent conference in the suburb of Oxon Hill had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were also in attendance at CPAC. White House officials said Saturday that there was no indication either had met or were in “close proximity” to the infected person.
Cruz said that he isn’t experiencing symptoms that are associated with the virus and that medical officials have told him the odds are low that the person passed the virus on to him.
He doesn’t meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for self-quarantine, partly because of how brief his contact with the person was, he said.
“Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution, and because of how frequently I interact with my constituents as a part of my job, and to give everyone peace of mind, I have decided to remain at my home in Texas this week, until a full 14 days have passed since the CPAC interaction,” his statement read.
Cruz added that people should take the coronavirus outbreak seriously.
“I encourage everyone to follow the recommendations of the CDC and other health professionals in protecting their own health and welfare, as well as the health and welfare of those around them,” he said.
Shortly afterward, Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., announced he and three additional staffers were “under self-quarantine” after “sustained contact” with the same CPAC attendee. He added, “We are all asymptomatic and feel great. But we are being proactive and cautious.”
Officials with the American Conservative Union (ACU), which hosted CPAC, said Saturday the attendee had been exposed before the conference, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed his case.
ACU officials said they were working with the Maryland Department of Health since the CPAC conference was held in that state.
“At this time, not a single person has reported any unusual illness. Thus the Dept of Health is not restricting movements or interactions with others of those hotel employees,” ACU said. “We continue to remain in close contact with the infected individual and he continues to be doing better. Also at this point, no other CPAC attendee, participant or staff has tested positive for coronavirus.”