Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is in self-quarantine after learning he had come in contact with the attendee at last month's Conservative Political Action Conference who had the coronavirus. His interaction, he explained in a statement, consisted of "a brief conversation and a handshake."
"Given that the interaction was 10 days ago, that the average incubation period is 5-6 days, that the interaction was for less than a minute, and that I have no current symptoms, the medical authorities have advised me that the odds of transmission from the other individual to me were extremely low," he added.
Cruz is now extending his self-quarantine after discovering he came in contact with another individual infected with the virus. As he explains in a new statement, he's still not experiencing any symptoms, but it's out of an abundance of caution that he'll still be staying indoors until March 17.
Today I released the following statement on my decision to extend my self-quarantine until March 17 out of an abundance of caution and to give everyone peace of mind: pic.twitter.com/BfleLLXAfz— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) March 13, 2020
The second COVID-19 positive individual with whom Cruz interacted has been identified as Santiago Abascal, the leader of the Vox party in Spain. Cruz met with Abascal in his D.C. office on March 3, and this interaction was several minutes longer than the other. The two men chatted for 20 minutes at a conference table, and took photos together. Abascal was asymptomatic at the time.
Cruz called into his previously scheduled interview with CBS's "This Morning" on Friday, providing a bit more information about his situation. The senator said he was "looking forward" to taking his family out to dinner tonight, but last night he got the call about his contact with Abascal.
NEW: @SenTedCruz has extended his self-quarantine after he learned he interacted with a Spanish government official who tested positive with #coronavirus. “I remain strong, healthy and have no symptoms.”— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 13, 2020
Sen. Cruz explains to @CBSThisMorning via phone. pic.twitter.com/XQXv3BafAB
"I remain strong, healthy and have no symptoms," he told CBS.
Congress is currently debating an emergency relief bill for Americans affected by the virus, and President Trump's new travel ban from Europe goes into effect at midnight.