The representative is being criticized for her actions in handling the matter.
U.S. Rep. Katie Porter has fired one of her staffers after they both contracted COVID-19, and then knowingly exposed others to the virus by attending an in-person event.
According to screenshots of text messages allegedly between Porter and the staffer named Sasha, Porter berates her for not following “office protocol.”
“[Y]ou gave me Covid,” Porter exclaimed dramatically. “In 25 months, it took you not following the rules to get me sick. My children have nobody to care for them.”
The staffer, who apologized to the U.S. Rep extensively, noted that she had been going through a tough time after finding out her friend had been murdered.
“I hate to have disappointed you…it isn’t an excuse I had found out my friend from the navy had been murdered and my head was not in the best place,” the staffer named Sasha said. The staffer also noted she had been feeling no COVID-19 symptoms while in the office.
Porter appeared to not offer sympathy regarding her staffer’s personal life, telling Sasha to pack up her belongings without warning.
“I cannot allow you back in the office, given your failure to follow office policies,” Porter wrote. “Cody will be in touch [about] having your personal effects shipped or delivered to your home, and will lay out your remote work schedule and responsibilities for your last few weeks.”
To make matters more concerning, Porter knowingly attended an in-person caucus meeting after she was made aware she was exposed to COVID-19. The event, according to information made public by the staffer, “had lax mask standards” with many speakers removing their masks at different times.
On Twitter where the texts were shared publicly, Porter was criticized for her actions in handling the matter.
One Twitter user mocked her, writing, “Sorry your friend was murdered but now I have the sniffles.”
Others said there was no definitive way for Porter to know it was in fact her staffer that transmitted the virus to her.