US House cancels plan to return to Capitol over coronavirus concerns


(Photo: VCG)

WASHINGTON, April 28 (Xinhua) -- U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday that lawmakers with the lower chamber will not return to the Capitol next week over coronavirus concerns, one day after announcing the lower chamber lawmakers would come back into session.

"We made a judgment that we will not come back next week but that we hope to come back very soon," Hoyer told reporters on a press call.

The Senate is still scheduled to return on May 4, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office said on Tuesday.

Hoyer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made the decision to halt plans to return after consulting Monday evening with Dr. Brian Monahan, the Capitol's attending physician, who warned that lawmakers could be at risk given the still-rising number of coronavirus cases in the Washington, D.C. area, according to a Politico report.

Nearly 4,000 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in the U.S. capital as of Monday, plus thousands more in Maryland and Virginia suburbs, said the report.