funeral of Congressman John Lewis in Georgia
© Pool via REUTERS / Alyssa Pointer
Politicians who attended the funeral of Congressman John Lewis in Georgia won't have to worry about Washington's new quarantine rules as they return to the city because they're deemed too essential to lock down.

A 'Who's Who' of Democrat politicians attended Thursday's funeral in Atlanta, despite a state ban on gatherings of more than 50 people. Some 50 members of Congress attended, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Kamala Harris, a leading candidate to be Joe Biden's vice presidential running mate.

Georgia is among 27 states that Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser deemed to be coronavirus hotspots and therefore subject to her July 24 order requiring anyone traveling from high-risk areas to self-quarantine for 14 days when they arrive in the nation's capital. Georgia has seen a rise in new Covid-19 infections, including 32,000 confirmed cases on July 28 alone, and some hospitals reportedly have run out of intensive care unit beds.

CNN blamed two funerals for causing Albany, Georgia, to be "overrun by coronavirus cases" in March.

There are no such worries over returning funeral goers in Washington. "Government activity is essential, and the Capitol of the United States is exempt from the mayor's order," Bowser's press secretary, Susana Castillo, told

Pelosi on July 29 ordered that all House members must wear a mask while voting on the House floor. She issued the mandate after Representative Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, tested positive for the virus. Representative Raul Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat, said on Saturday that he, too, had contracted the virus and blamed Republicans for not wearing masks. At least seven House members and two senators have tested positive for coronavirus.

The Washington Nationals baseball team has also been ruled essential by Washington's mayor and therefore is not subject to the quarantine rule.