Capitol Hill stays open as lawmakers fret about working in "petri dish"

Some lawmakers are worried that their travel schedules, often through major airports twice a week, and frequent meetings with the public could make them susceptible to the virus, according to lawmakers and aides.

“I assume that we’re going to have infections on Capitol Hill. I don’t think there’s any way to avoid that,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.). “No one wants to talk about it, but it’s just practical: We have visitors coming here from all over the world and all over the country, all of us travel, staff travel, a lot of close contact, people in and out all the time.”

Lawmakers and staffers were also alarmed on Wednesday when the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which recently hosted a conference in Washington, attended by many members of Congress, warned that a group of attendees from New York had been in contact with an individual who had contracted the new coronavirus. Attendees also met with members of Congress in their offices. AIPAC said it wasn’t aware of anyone who attended the conference testing positive for the illness.