Politics

Congress warned of possible coronavirus exposure that may have occurred at AIPAC conference

Key Points
  • The memo, according to the email, "describes a potential exposure based on contact from meeting attendees who were in contact with another individual that tested positive in New York prior to their travel to DC."  
  • The email said "there is no particular action necessary at this time for our Congressional Members who attended the meeting in Washington DC." 
  • "The DC Health Department considers this a low-risk exposure," the email said.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - APRIL 20, 2018: The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., often called the Capitol Building, is the home of the United State Congress and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal govermnent. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)
Robert Alexander

WASHINGTON — The Office of Attending Physician notified some congressional staff members on Wednesday in an email of a possible coronavirus exposure that may have occurred among attendees at the recent American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington, D.C.

It could not be immediately determined how many received the email and the breadth of its distribution. 

"The Office of Attending Physician has been made aware of an informational memo sent by AIPAC regarding a possible coronavirus exposure that may have occurred regarding attendees at the recent AIPAC meeting in Washington, DC," the email stated.

AIPAC referred CNBC to its tweet when asked for comment.

The AIPAC memo said it has been made aware that a group of attendees from New York "was potentially in contact with prior to the conference with an individual who contracted coronavirus." That group has been added to the self-quarantine list. 

New York Gov.  Andrew Cuomo earlier Wednesday confirmed that a family of four and their neighbor have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the number of cases in the state to at least six.

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The email told recipients that "there is no particular action necessary at this time for our Congressional Members who attended the meeting in Washington DC." It added that if members of congress do become ill, they should consult with their physician, but that "no other action" was required at this time.

The exposure at AIPAC "would be considered to be an indirect exposure," the email said, adding that the Office of Attending Physician is monitoring the situation along with the District of Columbia Public Health Authority.

"The DC Health Department considers this a low-risk exposure," the email said, adding that participants should follow the same CDC guidelines they were handed out during the conference.

According to AIPAC's website, more than two-thirds of Congress attend the annual policy event, which occurred earlier this month.  Those scheduled to speak at the event this year included Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., House Republican Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y, according to its website. 

The District of Columbia Public Health Authority did not immediately return CNBC's request for comment.

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