Fleischmann, other Tennessee Republicans in Congress will back Trump

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischman

UPDATE: U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) announced on Sunday that he tested positive for COVID-19. 

Rep. Fleischmann was among lawmakers during the Capitol lockdown. 

Capitol Dr. Brian Monahan emailed those in the House who were present during the evacuation and said, “On Wednesday January 6th, many members of the House community were in protective isolation in a room located in a large committee hearing space. The time in this room was several hours for some and briefer for others. During this time, individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with Coronavirus infection.” 

Channel 3 asked Rep. Fleischmann how many people he believed he came into contact with and he said, “I don't know I was on the floor earlier in the day for the opening prayer and the pledge." 

The opening prayer and pledge, according to public record, was held around noon right among other lawmakers a few hours before the riot ensued. 

Rep. Fleischmann said he had come into contact with Congressman Gus Bilirakis, who tested positive for COVID-19. They are roommates. 

Channel 3 had also reported Congressman Bilirakis had tweeted his positive diagnosis around 3:29 pm Wednesday and notified Fleischmann via text. 

Rep. Fleischman said he didn’t see the texts or tweet because he had no service as he was rushed to a safe place during the riots. 

"When I found out I was in my office with my office staff,” he recalled. 

When the building was clear and Congress resumed, Fleischmann voted to object the Electoral College results, under special conditions by the House. 

Rep. Fleishman wasn’t the only house member to test positive. Representative Jake LaTurner of Kansas, has also tested positive. 

Rep. Fleischmann’s spokesperson said other than minor symptoms, he is doing well and will quarantine in DC. 

This is a developing story. Stay with WRCB for updates. 


PREVIOUS STORY: U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) is in quarantine after he made close contact with U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), who recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Rep. Fleischmann told Channel 3 he had come into contact with Rep. Bilirakis last Saturday since they share an apartment.

"Common area, specifically a kitchen which we both share," he said.

Rep. Fleischmann received the news hours after the U.S. Capitol was stormed by supporters of President Donald Trump.

"Interestingly enough during the chaos yesterday, when he had tried to send me a text immediately after he had found out, It did not go through until much later in the night,” he said.

Rep. Bilirakis had tweeted around 3:29 p.m. on Wednesday that he was positive for the virus.

Fleischman said that the riot was going on around the same time as the tweet had been posted, so he could not see it or even get the congressman’s texts at that time until later.

He said since he had no idea of Congressman Bilirakis' diagnosis until after he had gone to the Electoral College certification before the violence ensued.

"I was on the floor earlier in the day with the opening prayer and the pledge,” he disclosed.

He added he was complying with CDC guidelines, however, and when he found out about the diagnosis, he was allowed to vote in the second round of the electoral certification behind Plexiglass.

"Infinitely thankful because I had wanted to cast those two votes for my constituents,” he said.

Currently, the congressman declares he is showing no symptoms of having COVID-19 and has not yet taken a test.

He said he plans to do so on Monday and until then will follow CDC guidelines and quarantine.

Channel 3 reached out to Bilirakis for an interview but it was said that he was “not feeling well to do an interview.” His spokesperson was then asked how many congresspeople who were present at the Electoral College certification had he been in contact with him and did not get a response.


PREVIOUS STORY: U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann is quarantining after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, he announced on Thursday hours after Congress certified the Electoral College vote overnight.

Rep. Fleischmann was among the lawmakers evacuated from Senate and House chambers when rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building following a protest in support of President Donald Trump. He wrote that he learned of his close contact last night.

READ MORE | Congressman Chuck Fleischmann on Capitol riots: 'This is a sad day.' 

"I am currently non-symptomatic & since becoming aware of my exposure to the virus I have been in quarantine, following CDC guidelines, & in contact w/ the Attending Physician," Rep. Fleischmann posted on social media.

This is a developing story. Stay with WRCB for updates.