PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Pennsylvania lawmaker tested positive for the coronavirus and now, one of his colleagues is demanding an investigation. Republican state Rep. Andrew Lewis tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, but the diagnosis is creating a political back-and-forth with Democrats.
Because of this, Democrats, including state Rep. Brian Sims, are looking to change state General Assembly rules by requiring lawmakers to wear a face mask and require notification if a House member tests positive. Sims says not being notified is unacceptable.
“How dare you? How dare you put our lives at risk, our families at risk,” Sims said on a Facebook Live.
Sims, in a Facebook Live, called out Lewis for not telling lawmakers he tested positive for COVID-19.
“I kind of don’t know where to begin. Let me tell you why this so f—ing dangerous,” Sims said.
Lewis, who represents Dauphin County, tested positive for the virus on May 20. He says his last day at the capital was on May 14.
“I want to assure you that through the whole thing I followed the isolation procedures, notified anyone I was in contact with, followed the protocols and even was in contact with the Department of Health on a daily basis,” Lewis said.
But Sims says Democrats weren’t notified. The two sit on dual committees with each other, including the State Government Committee, which voted to overturn Gov. Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home orders.
“Holy s***, exposing all of us up here to this crap while covering up what was going on,” Sims said.
Lewis says he didn’t disclose his diagnosis for privacy reasons. Unlike with some sexually transmitted diseases, it’s not illegal to withhold a coronavirus diagnosis. However, therapist Dr. Argie Allen Wilson, who authored Courageous Conversations Connect, says everyone needs to be on the same page.
“We can’t take the position that we’re in this individually and that no one else is impacted,” she said. “We have to look at it from a perspective that whatever we do impacts someone else.”
Eyewitness News reached out to Lewis for additional comment but has not heard back. As for Sims, he’s calling on a full investigation by the state’s attorney general and health secretary.