Michigan House won't hold votes Tuesday after Giuliani's COVID-19 diagnosis

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — The Michigan House won't vote or take attendance on Tuesday, six days after a committee hearing featuring President Donald Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Trump revealed Giuliani's positive diagnosis on Sunday. The former New York City mayor appeared Wednesday before the House Oversight Committee, where he presented on the integrity of the election and questioned witnesses during a four-hour meeting without wearing a mask.

"Multiple representatives have requested time to receive results from recent COVID-19 tests before returning to session, out of an abundance of caution," House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, said in a statement.

Rudy Giuliani testifies before the House Oversight Committee in Lansing on Wednesday, December 02, 2020 about alleged fraud in the recent election.

"Additionally, we have several representatives who need to miss House session for non-COVID reasons," the speaker added. "Between those two things, I have decided the House will still be in session on Tuesday, but no voting will take place and attendance will not be taken."

Without voting and attendance, the wide majority of House members won't have to travel to Lansing to appear in the House chamber. But voting and attendance will be taken on Wednesday and Thursday, Chatfield said. After this week, the House has only three more traditional session days currently scheduled before the end of the year.

Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said Monday it was very likely that Giuliani was contagious during the late night hearing. Anyone within 6 feet of Giuliani for 15 minutes or anyone who failed to wear a face mask during the hearing "must quarantine," Vail said in a Monday statement. 

She "suggested" quarantine for anyone who attended the committee meeting with a face mask.

During Wednesday's hearing, Giuliani urged lawmakers to intervene in the results of the Nov. 3 election while relying on fraud claims that remain unproven or have been rejected by experts.

On Sunday night, Rep. Darrin Camilleri, D-Brownstown Township, said all of the lawmakers and staffers who were in the room for the Wednesday hearing should have to get a negative coronavirus test before attending session again. According to photographs and other legislators, more than a dozen Michigan representatives attended the hearing.

"There is a potential that this is a widespread infection," Camilleri said Sunday. "That is something that is very scary to us."

Trump's campaign issued a Sunday night statement that Giuliani had "tested negative twice immediately" preceding his trip last week to Arizona, Michigan and Georgia. He was in Arizona on Monday and Georgia on Thursday. He didn't experience symptoms or test positive for the virus until more than 48 hours after his trip concluded, according to the statement, which didn't identify the specific dates of his various COVID-19 tests.

"No legislators in any state or members of the press are on the contact tracing list," the statement said, referring to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that define "close contacts" for tracing as "any individual within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more."

Chatfield previously said Giuliani was "COVID-negative" while in Michigan and the only people within 6 feet of him for "an extended period of time in the committee room were his own legal team and witnesses who traveled with him."

Some lawmakers "want to go above and beyond in the interest of public safety," Chatfield said of those seeking tests. "With the recent spike in COVID cases nationwide, this makes sense," he added.