The Arizona Legislature announced Sunday that it would close for a week out of an abundance of caution “for recent cases and concerns relating to COVID-19.”
The Arizona Legislature will shut down for a week after Rudy Giuliani tests positive for COVID-19 just days after he spent hours with a number of Republican lawmakers.
President Donald Trump announced Sunday that his personal attorney had tested positive for the virus. Giuliani was exhibiting some symptoms and was admitted Sunday to Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington.
The 76-year-old former New York mayor has traveled extensively to battleground states in an effort to help Trump subvert his election loss to Joe Biden. On numerous occasions, he has met with officials for hours at a time without wearing a mask.
Giuliani traveled on Monday to Phoenix, where he met with Republican legislators for an hourslong hearing in which he was maskless. The Arizona Republican Party tweeted a photo of Giuliani and several state GOP lawmakers standing shoulder-to-shoulder and maskless. No one in the photo was wearing a mask.
Republican state lawmakers Bret Roberts, Nancy Barto, Mark Finchem, David Cook, Kelly Townsend, David Gowan, Sylvia Allen, and Sonny Borrelli were in attendance at the daylong hearing at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix. Republican congressmen Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs were also there, among others.
The Arizona Legislature announced Sunday, after Giuliani’s diagnosis became public, that it would close for a week out of an abundance of caution “for recent cases and concerns relating to COVID-19.”
Several Democratic lawmakers reacted to the news, including, Sen. Martín Quezada of Maryvale. He shared a report stating that a number of the lawmakers at the hearing later attended several days of orientation for new lawmakers at the legislature and refused to wear masks, possibly exposing others to the virus.
“This is the epitome of #COVID19 irresponsibility by members of the #AZLeg @AZHouseGOP and @AZSenateGOP. You owe it to the very people who work in the Capitol buildings to be better than this,” Quezada said in a tweet.”
Tucson’s Sen. Victoria Steel described the ordeal as “willful, deliberate, endangerment of others” in a tweet.
Kelli Ward, chair of the Arizona Republican Party, called the decision to close the Legislature as “unnecessary” and “cowardly.” Other Republicans echoed her comments.
So far, no one in attendance at the Arizona hearing or orientation has publicly stated they’ve tested positive for the virus. However, research shows that people who contract the virus may become infectious to others several days before they start to feel ill.
Giuliani also attended hearings in Georgia and Michigan in recent days. The Trump campaign said in a statement that Giuliani tested negative twice before these visits. Unidentified Trump team members who had close contact with Giuliani are in self-isolation.
“The Mayor did not experience any symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 until more than 48 hours after his return,” according to the statement. “No legislators in any state or members of the press are on the contact tracing list, under current CDC Guidelines.”
It’s not clear when Giuliani was exposed to the virus. He also appeared maskless at a Nov. 25 hearing in Pennsylvania. And he did not quarantine after being near an infected person at a Nov. 19 news conference at the Republican National Committee’s headquarters.
His son Andrew Giuliani, who is a White House aide, announced a day after the event that he had tested positive for the virus.