Sen. Ted Cruz said that he has decided to quarantine himself in his Texas home this week after he had brief contact 10 days ago with a person at the Conservative Political Action Conference who has since tested positive for COVID-19. The Texas Republican wrote on Twitter that he was told of his brief interaction, which consisted of a quick conversation and handshake, with the individual on Saturday night. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence also attended the gathering of conservatives in late February, but neither had contact with the person who has since tested positive for the virus.
Cruz said in the statement he released Sunday that he consulted with numerous health authorities and they all told him his chances of contracting the virus were low. “I’m not experiencing any symptoms, and I feel fine and healthy,” Cruz said. “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.”
Although his brief interaction did not meet the stated criteria for self-quarantine, he decided to do it anyway “out of an abundance of caution,” considering he regularly meets with lots of people. He is not alone. Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona also went into self-quarantine along with three of his senior staff after they had “sustained contact at CPAC with a person who has since been hospitalized with the Wuhan Virus.” Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, which organizes CPAC, said he had “incidental” contact with the affected person but insisted he was “healthy as a horse.” Schlapp also shook Trump’s hand before the president spoke, but the attendee who was infected with the coronavirus did not go to the conference that day.