Since the US Capitol riot on Jan. 6, nearly 40 members of the force have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the head of the US Capitol Police officers’ union.
The number was revealed to the Washington Post on Saturday by the head of the labor committee for the U.S. Capitol Police branch of the Fraternal Order of Police, Gus Papathanasiou. He told the newspaper that most of the cases were among officers and supervisors, though it was unclear if all the cases involved officers who were present responding to the attack.
“It’s mostly officers and supervisors, all sworn personnel,” Papathanasiou told the Post.
“Everyone’s on top of each other,” he added while describing the Jan. 6 scene at the Capitol. “Then when you’ve got pepper spray and pepper balls being used, people are coughing, and bodily fluids are all over the place.”
The Post reported that the U.S. has dozens of cases among Capitol Police which reflects a growing number of cases among the D.C. division of the National Guard, which was deployed during President Biden’s administration to provide security.
As a result of the Jan. 6 violence, one Capitol Police officer died, and dozens of Capitol Police officers were injured, just days later, another officer who was responding to the scene died. About 1,500 Capitol Police officers total responded to the scene alongside approximately 1,000 D.C. Metropolitan police force.