Rep. Katie Porter (D. CA) is being investigated after a former staffer published a text exchange where the congresswoman accused her of giving her COVID-19.
After the exchange was shared by Dear White Staffers on Twitter, it gained attention. The account shares stories about workplace grievances and advocates for a better working environment for Hill staffers. Although the account claimed that Porter and the staffer were both afflicted by the coronavirus she had been fired, the office of the congresswoman said she was actually a fellow employee whose contract was about to expire.
Porter said, “I cannot allow your back in the office due to your failure to comply with office policies,” in screenshots of their exchange with Sasha Georgiades. “Cody will get in touch with you to arrange for personal effects to be shipped or delivered to your residence. She will also lay out your work schedule and responsibilities over the next few weeks.
Georgiades profusely apologised to Porter, who replied, “Well, you gave me Covid.” It took me 25 months to get sick because you didn’t follow the rules. My children don’t have anyone to care for them.”
Porter’s office stated to the Washington Examiner that “this former employee was not fired.” She was a fellow at our office and, weeks before she violated COVID protocol, in July, Porter’s office stated that the former employee was not fired. Congresswoman Porter informed her that she would continue her fellowship at home for the three remaining weeks.
Georgiades stated in an interview with Reason that she did not follow the office protocol and was tested as soon as she felt sick.
She said that she felt fine at the time, but was sore from having worked out too hard. “It was difficult to distinguish until the next day and as soon as it started feeling sick, I took a test and told the district director that I had it. I stayed home.
She said that Porter was supposed to be in Washington, D.C. that week, but she wouldn’t have been there with her children. Porter also continued to attend in person events even after being informed she had been exposed. Porter’s office stated that she was informed of her COVID exposure and had been tested twice daily. She then resigned from in-person events after receiving negative results.
Georgiades, a Navy veteran, was visiting Porter’s office as part of a Wounded Warrior fellowship. According to Nicholas Wu, she said that Porter had never spoken to her again after the exchange and that the experience discouraged her from pursuing a career as a politician.