A former staff member who left Rep. Adam Schiff’s office 10 days ago has tested positive for COVID-19, the congressman from Burbank announced Sunday.
A reporter for Politico initially identified that staffer as Daniel Goldman, the lawyer who led the House Intelligence Committee’s questioning in the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. Goldman later confirmed the diagnosis himself on Twitter.
On March 11, Goldman had begun tweeting about his efforts to get tested for the virus, calling the process “shameful.”
“Let’s be very clear: unless you have pneumonia and traveled to one of 5 high-risk countries recently, you can NOT get a #COVID19 test in New York City,” Goldman tweeted. “If you, like me, have a fever and a headache (but tested negative for the flu), you are unable to rule out #COVID19.”
The next day, he said that he finally underwent a curbside test in Connecticut but that the results would not be available for four days. Goldman said the results for Tom Hanks, who tested positive for COVID-19 in Australia, were available in just four hours.
Goldman ultimately said, “Now resting at home, feeling better, and trying to keep 3 little ones away.”
By midmorning Sunday, about two hours after Schiff made an announcement about an unidentified staffer, Goldman confirmed his test had come back positive for COVID-19.
In a thread on Twitter, Goldman criticized the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic, particularly the president’s statement that anyone who wants to get tested is able to do so. That has not proved to be the case.
“My difficulty in getting a test despite the exact symptoms and a neg flu test underscores how shockingly unprepared this administration is to deal with this pandemic,” Goldman wrote. “In fact, I was told that NYC hospitals STILL would not test my wife — with similar symptoms — unless admitted.”
Schiff had said medical professionals believe the staffer likely contracted the coronavirus after leaving the congressman’s office. His office nonetheless will take additional precautions in the following days.
The individual involved “is feeling better” and no current employees have reported flu-like symptoms, a statement from Schiff’s office said.
Schiff said his office started taking precautionary measures before learning about the case, including postponing his meetings and district events. He had also requested that his staff work remotely indefinitely “out of an abundance of caution.”
Schiff, who has become one of the most high-profile members of Congress during the Trump era, represents California’s 28th district, which includes parts of central Los Angeles and the northeast San Fernando Valley, Burbank, Glendale, La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Pasadena and West Hollywood.
He joins other government officials who have been linked to possible exposure to COVID-19.
Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Gosar from Arizona announced last week that they were placing themselves under quarantine after interacting with a person at the Conservative Political Action Conference who later tested positive for the coronavirus.
On Saturday, the president’s personal doctor declared that Trump tested negative for COVID-19. Trump had recently been in contact with at least three people who contracted the coronavirus, according to the Associated Press.