Members of Congress are reported to be pushing top Republicans and Democrats to order an emergency recess on Capitol Hill for two weeks or more over fears of the spread of the novel coronavirus. Multiple Democratic leadership sources told NBC News that Congress should be shut down for at least two weeks to mitigate the spread, which has been particularly dangerous for older people, with many members said to be “concerned, particularly older members and a number who have conditions that make them more susceptible.” According to NBC News, several sources said they are worried they could be infected in the halls of Congress and then take it home to their constituencies after several Republicans, including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, announced they and their staff would self-isolate after attending the CPAC conference. “Members are very nervous,” one senior Democratic leadership aide told NBC. “There’s a lot of concern that members could bring it home.” A number of Republican lawmakers came into contact last week with a person who tested positive at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland. NBC reports more than one-quarter of U.S. senators are age 70 or older, and put the average age of representatives at 57.6.
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