Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, chairman of the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection, has tested positive for Covid-19, his office announced Tuesday.
“I tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, and I am experiencing mild symptoms,” Thompson said in a statement. “Gratefully, I am fully vaccinated and boosted. I am continuing to follow CDC guidelines and will be isolating for the next several days.”
Thompson’s positive test will not impact the committee’s upcoming prime-time hearing, which is scheduled for Thursday, even if the chairman is unable to attend, according to a spokesman for the committee.
“While Chairman Thompson is disappointed with his COVID diagnosis, he has instructed the Select Committee to proceed with Thursday evening’s hearing,” spokesman Tim Mulvey said in a statement. “Committee members and staff wish the Chairman a speedy recovery.”
Thursday’s hearing is focused on former President Donald Trump’s inaction during 187 crucial minutes of the January 6 attack. Matthew Pottinger, who served on former President Donald Trump’s National Security Council, and former Trump White House aide Sarah Matthews are expected to testify.
Thompson and the committee’s vice chairwoman, GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, have played significant roles in each of the committee’s seven hearings so far. Thursday is the committee’s last scheduled public hearing, but members have left open the possibility of more.
The committee’s work continued Tuesday despite Thompson’s diagnosis. The panel met with former Trump White House aide Garrett Ziegler on Capitol Hill. A former aide to then-White House economic adviser Peter Navarro, Ziegler may be able to provide the committee with additional information about the circumstances around a heated Oval Office meeting on December 18, 2020.
This story has been updated with additional developments Tuesday.