Despite having flu-like symptoms and awaiting coronavirus test results, Georgia State Sen. Brandon Beach (R) showed up at the State Capitol on Monday for a vote. He said he felt healthy enough.
Beach announced yesterday that he tested positive for coronavirus.
The entirely avoidable emergency has ignited a fire under the Peach State’s top officials. Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) and House Speaker David Ralston (R) promptly called on all of the state’s 236 lawmakers to quarantine themselves through March 31.
The vote on Monday was to expand the powers afforded to Gov. Brian Kemp (R) in responding to the pandemic.
Per The Hill:
“We want to protect our members, their families and the individuals they come in contact with daily,” Duncan said in a statement. “The special session on Monday was absolutely necessary to ratify the governor’s public health state of emergency, and we tried to take serious precautions to keep members safe while at the Capitol.”
— Geoff Duncan (@GeoffDuncanGA) March 18, 2020
The disclosure that Beach exhibited symptoms dating back as far as March 10 sparked outrage from some lawmakers. State Rep. Scot Turner (R) said in a Facebook post that he was “shaking with rage,” saying that the legislator “exposed us all.”
Beach said in a statement that he thought he was “in the clear” after taking medication and feeling better on Monday.
“I know many Georgians are praying hard as we weather this crisis together, and frankly, I’d ask that they pray for me,” he said.
Beach’s revelation came nearly simultaneously with congressmen Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Ben McAdams’ (D-UT) announcements that they have coronavirus.