Ted Cruz Voluntarily Self Quarantines After Discovering He ‘Briefly Interacted’ With CPAC Coronavirus Patient
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) released a statement Sunday evening stating that he had voluntarily placed himself in quarantine at his home “out of an abundance of caution” after learning that he had “briefly interacted” with the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) attendee who is currently symptomatic and has tested positive for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.
As Mediaite previously reported, the annual CPAC gathering happened last week in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C., and at least one conference attendee has tested positive for coronavirus.
The infection occurred before the conference, and the individual is currently quarantined at a hospital in New Jersey, where he was tested and his status confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence attended CPAC this year, although the individual did not come in contact with either of them directly.
American Conservative Union (ACU) Chairman Matt Schlapp, who oversees the organization responsible for CPAC every year, said that he had “incidental contact with him [the individual], very briefly,” and also verified that neither Trump nor Pence had contact with this individual.
Cruz, like Schlapp, described his interaction with the individual as minor: “a brief conversation and a handshake…for less than a minute,” and said that he had consulted with medical authorities from a variety of government agencies, as well as his own personal doctor.
“I’m not experiencing any symptoms, and I feel fine and healthy,” said Cruz in his statement. Based on his lack of symptoms and the brevity of their interaction, Cruz has been told that his risk of contracting coronavirus from this individual are “extremely low.”
“Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution,” continued Cruz, “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.”
Cruz’s full statement, as provided to Mediaite, is below:
Last night, I was informed that 10 days ago at CPAC I briefly interacted with an individual who is currently symptomatic and has tested positive for COVID-19. That interaction consisted of a brief conversation and a handshake.
I have consulted with medical authorities from the Houston Health Department, the Harris County Public Health Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as my personal physician. I have also spoken with Vice President Pence, Leader McConnell, and Mark Meadows.
I’m not experiencing any symptoms, and I feel fine and healthy. Given that the interaction was 10 days ago, that the average incubation period is 5-6 days, that the interaction was for less than a minute, and that I have no current symptoms, the medical authorities have advised me that the odds of transmission from the other individual to me were extremely low.
The physicians further advised that testing is not effective before symptoms manifest, and my brief interaction with the individual does not meet the CDC criteria for self-quarantine.
The medical authorities explicitly advised me that, given the above criteria, the people who have interacted with me in the 10 days since CPAC should not be concerned about potential transmission.
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.
Everyone should continue to treat this outbreak seriously and be driven by facts and medical science. We need to continue to be proactive in mobilizing resources to combat this outbreak—including the $8.3 billion in emergency funding we provided last week—and 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.
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