Health New Hampshire

New Hampshire: Legislator Says She Got COVID at Committee Meeting

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A friend in Boston recently described New Hampshire as “the Florida of the North.” Clearly, she wasn’t referring to climate but to retrograde politicians.

New Hampshire is one of those states, like Florida, that has decided to minimize the significance of COVID. Actions have consequences.

CONCORD — A House member is claiming she was infected with COVID19 at a sub-committee meeting last week.

Rep. Nicole Klein Knight, D-Manchester, in a posting on Twitter Friday morning, said she was infected and in turn has infected her family and she blames House Speaker Sherman Packard for allowing sick members to participate without masks.

Her Twitter posting reads, “I’m positive for covid. Most due to the fact the @NHSpeaker allowed sick members to participate unmasked and come into contact and furthermore did not notify me, I since infected my entire family. If there is any legal action I can take I would appreciate help.”

Packard has insisted committees meet in person and has not allowed members who believe their lives would be at risk to meet remotely rather than physically appear at the State House or Legislative Office Building.

Democrats have pushed for remote access since the session began in January. Remote access to committee meetings was allowed this spring, but once meetings began again this fall, Packard said members would have to attend committee meetings to participate and to vote.

A number of disabled or health compromised Democrats including House Minority Leader Renny Cushing, D-Hampton, sued the Speaker seeking to participate in House session remotely, but lost the initial ruling in US District Court. That decision was overturned by the 1st Circuit Court on appeal and sent back to US District Court to determine if the House members qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act for special accommodations.

The Speaker asked the appeals court to reconsider and another hearing was held with a three-judge panel, but no decision has been released to date….

“I feel like I don’t have a right to be protected,” Klein Knight said, “the Speaker has made it impossible to protect myself.”

“This could wipe out my whole family,” Klein Knight said, “and the least the Speaker could do is notify me.”

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