Pennsylvania state lawmaker rips GOP members for silence after testing positive for coronavirus

Pennsylvania state lawmaker rips GOP members for silence after testing positive for coronavirus

A Pennsylvania state representative went on a profanity-laced tirade against Republican colleagues who had knowingly tested positive for COVID-19 and remained silent.

On Wednesday, Rep. Brian Sims, a Democrat from Philadelphia, released a near-12-minute Facebook video calling out GOP members who have been actively pushing to reopen the state and undermining the seriousness of the novel coronavirus.

“Every single day of this crisis this State Government Committee in Pennsylvania has met so that their members could line up one after one after one and explain that it was safe to go back to work,” Sims said in the video. “During that time period they were testing positive. They were notifying one another. And they didn’t notify us.”

Earlier this week coronavirus deaths exceeded 100,000 nationwide and over 5,200 in Pennsylvania.

More:Coronavirus updates: Pa. has over 750 new cases Wednesday; statewide total nears 70K

According to the video, Sims acknowledges that Democratic leadership became aware of at least one Republication member of the House of Representatives that had tested positive for COVID-19 and remained working in the capitol for at least one week.

In the video Sims criticized Rep. Russ Diamond of Lebanon County for self-quarantining without telling Democratic colleagues. Diamond has been a leading advocate for reopening the state and according to Sims, he has remained quarantined for weeks.

Thousands gather outside the capital building for the ReOpen PA rally in Harrisburg on Friday, May 15, 2020.

“Of course he didn’t explain that to any of us when he was in committee talking with us, walking up and down the aisle, bumping into us or letting us hold the door for him, ” Sims said.

Diamond took to Twitter to respond to Sims citing CDC guidelines for quarantine along with a subtweet towards testing parameters he took.

“I’m in a building surrounded by. members who cannot go back to their families,” Sims said. “I need to know if it is safe for us to be back in this building.”

In the video, Sims calls for the Attorney General Josh Shapiro to launch an investigation on GOP members who tested positive and participated in self-quarantining without notifying their Democratic colleagues.

This is a developing story check back for updates.

Neil Strebig is a journalist for the York Daily Record. He can be reached at nstrebig@ydr.com and on Twitter: @neilStrebig.

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