House cancels return to Washington over doctor’s coronavirus concerns

WASHINGTON — Members of the House have been told to stay home after they were scheduled to return to Washington on May 4, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday.

In a call with reporters, Hoyer said the session was canceled after Democratic leaders consulted the House physician over concerns lawmakers would be exposing themselves to the coronavirus.

Hoyer said the physician told him that returning would present a risk to members and was “one he would not recommend taking.”

Many members of the House and Senate are above 60 and in the most high-risk group and several lawmakers have tested positive to the virus since the pandemic broke out in March.

Both chambers of Congress were supposed to return after an extended break to vote on a fourth wave of emergency COVID-19 funding — the decision potentially slowing down more aid.

Lawmakers briefly returned from their districts last week to vote on an interim $484 billion relief bill for small businesses — most of them taking the unprecedented step of wearing masks and scarves in the chamber.

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