While most Americans are trying to “get back to normal” whatever that is, there has been what has appeared to be a rash of COVID-19 cases in Washington D.C. As of this morning, it includes Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet.
“I tested positive for COVID-19 today. I am vaccinated and boosted and thankfully experiencing only minor, cold-like symptoms. I will work virtually while quarantining in Denver according to the guidance set forth by the Senate Attending Physician.”
Over the past few weeks, more than 80 U.S. government elected officials and staffers working in D.C. have tested positive, many after attending the first Gridiron Dinner since 2019.
The first to come down with COVID-19 after they attended the annual social gathering were two members of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. Dozens more federal-level elected officials, all of whom are tested daily, have been diagnosed. More recent officials have included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris.
The situation has meant that a press conference ahead of CORE Act Mark-Up in the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will be done virtually. The conference has been arranged by Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D) and John Hickenlooper (D) and Colorado U.S. Representative Joe Neguse (D). This is the first time the bill has been marked up by the committee.
The CORE Act legislation would protect more than 400,000 acres of Colorado public land while boosting the state’s economy. The bill would establish new wilderness, recreation, and conservation areas, and protect Camp Hale as a first-of-its-kind National Historic Landscape. The legislation passed the House of Representatives in February 2021 but has been awaiting action in the U.S. Senate since then.
The decrease in testing for COVID across the rest of the country may account for what at first look would appear to indicate a decline in cases, when in fact cases may be on the rise and are simply being under-reported. Health officials are reminding the public that there has been a mid-summer surge of COVID during the past two years of the pandemic.