Beyer announced Tuesday night that he recently dined with a friend in D.C. who later tested positive for COVID-19. The congressman, who represents Arlington, Alexandria and parts of Fairfax County, made the announcement shortly before a telephone town hall meeting he organized about coronavirus.
Beyer said in a statement that his office will be closed and he will not attend votes until Monday, when he hopes to return to the Capitol.
This afternoon my wife Megan and I were contacted by the Virginia Department of Health to share details with us about the illness of a friend who tested positive for COVID-19 after dining with us. They informed us that the timeline of his infection began shortly after our contact on February 28.
At the request of the public health officials, I will self-quarantine to ensure that I do not pass on any potential illness to others. In the 10 days since that dinner neither of us has shown symptoms, and we understand that the probability that we have an infection is low.
Representing Northern Virginians is an honor and privilege which I love, and I especially hate to be away from the Capitol at this time of national crisis. But I feel strongly that one of the most important contributions people in positions of leadership can make at such times is to share the best advice from experts, and where necessary, to model it in our behavior.
My office will close for public business and I will not attend votes or hearings until Monday, when medical advisers say I should be clear to return.
In an interview with ARLnow on Monday, Beyer discussed why he has been sharply critical of President Trump and his response to the outbreak.
“My criticism of the president has been based around poor leadership, poor coordination of response, and deferring on the testing capacity,” he said. “Very clearly, a number of his statements over the past several days have flatly been not true… I know the president believes he’s good at a lot of things, but he’s making scientific pronouncements with no basis of fact.”
Trump led a bumbling response that put us way behind other countries on testing. He lied about the seriousness of the pandemic for weeks.
House Democrats put together and passed a strong spending package to fund a good, science-based response.
Trump spent the weekend golfing. https://t.co/s8KKgWJGPa
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) March 10, 2020
“It was disappointing to see the president playing golf this weekend,” Beyer continued. “I have never been critical of his golf playing, presidents need to rest too. But this seems like a national crisis like a 9/11, where you want everyone playing attention… [and Trump] criticized Obama all the time for playing golf.”
The congressman said “only time will tell us how big of a deal” the coronavirus outbreak is, adding that it’s “a rapidly unfolding scientific story” and he’s “praying for mild cases throughout our society.” He said he expects Congress to vote for “some sensible stimulus” — maybe an infrastructure package — to “pull us out of any economic funk that we experience” as a result of the outbreak.
“I think it’s inevitable that we’re going to have to look at some sort of stimulus to stimulate the economy after this kind of a hit,” he said.
“People shouldn’t panic,” about coronavirus, Beyer said. “They should prepare.”
A thousand signs encouraging voters to “Dump Trump” may pop up around Arlington, if local Democrats are able to raise enough money to fund the rest of the printing run.
The Arlington County Democratic Committee says a donor has already contributed $1,000 for the yard signs, but it is seeking another $2,000. It made the fundraising pitch online Monday, to coincide with the Presidents Day holiday.
The signs will be distributed free of charge to anyone who requests one, the party said.
More from Arlington Democrats:
For Presidents Day we remember the lives and achievements of our past presidents. Leaders who embodied honor and dignity and who worked in pursuit of our shared American values of freedom, opportunity, and equality. But we know President Trump couldn’t care less about these values. He’s shown nothing but contempt for the principles we hold dear, and his tenure has been marked by corruption, incompetence, greed, and willful ignorance.
So in honor of Presidents Day, we’re poised to order hundreds of these “Dump Trump” yard signs to show our Democratic spirit all around town and remind people to vote and volunteer!
— Arlington Democrats (@arlingtondems) February 17, 2020
President Trump made a surprise visit to his reelection campaign’s office in Rosslyn around lunchtime today.
The president was accompanied by his son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner, and campaign manager Brad Parscale. For about an hour he took meetings and greeted campaign staff, congratulating them on a more than $60 million fundraising haul in January.
Arlington County Police assisted with the motorcade from the White House to the campaign office.
Trump posed for a photo with staffers, who work out of what’s been described as a “Republican National Committee annex” in “a glass-skinned tower overlooking the Potomac River.” The address is not publicly available.
"Motorcade arrived at the RNC Annex Office in Arlington, VA at 11:31am. Your pooler is told POTUS is here for meetings and to thank campaign officials. … Sr. WH advisor Jared Kushner and campaign manager Brad Parscale were seen departing the White House with POTUS."
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) February 13, 2020
POTUS has made a surprise visit this morning to the RNC's Annex Office in Arlington for meetings and to thank campaign officials. It was not on his daily public schedule/press guidance.
— Elizabeth Crisp (@elizabethcrisp) February 13, 2020
Photo via @TeamTrump/Twitter
Beyer on Impeachment Vote — “Voting for these articles of impeachment is the only moral course of action, the only way to honor our oath of office. I have no doubt that the votes I cast today will stand the test of time.” [Press Release]
Car2go Bye Bye — “Share Now, the German company that manages the car rental company until recently known as Car2Go, has announced it will exit the North American market effective February 29, 2020… There are currently 150,694 users in D.C., according to a company official who isn’t authorized to speak on the record.” [DCist, Share Now]
Volunteers Read to Babies in NICU — “Studies show private neonatal intensive care unit rooms can be too quiet, with premature babies not getting enough sound and stimulation, so Virginia Hospital Center uses trained volunteers to read popular children’s books to its tiniest patients when their parents can’t be there.” [NBC 4]
Free Lyft Rides Starting Tomorrow — Updated at 9 a.m. — “A regional nonprofit is again planning to offer free rides through Lyft to help keep drunk drivers off Alexandria streets during the holidays. Starting on Dec. 20, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) will offer its annual Holiday SoberRide program nightly from 10 p.m.-4 a.m., until Jan. 1.” [ALXnow]
Water Main Break in Bluemont — Updated at 9 a.m. — “Emergency Water Main Repairs: Crews working on a leaking 6-inch valve at 5650 4th St N. Some 100 water customers could be affected. Traffic is diverted around the work site. Estimated time of completion: no later than 7pm.” [Twitter]
County Board Approves Legislative Priorities — “The Arlington County Board today finalized its 2020 General Assembly Legislative Proposals… Arlington’s proposals include requests that the General Assembly renew without a sunset clause the .25 percent transient occupancy tax on hotel rooms that funds travel and tourism promotion in Arlington.” [Arlington County]
Groups Call for County-Owned Power Company — “Eighty years after the idea was first broached, several progressive groups are embarked on a likely uphill effort to have the Arlington government develop its own energy utility. The Arlington Green Party is the latest to sign on to the effort, which was proposed by Our Revolution Arlington.” [InsideNova]
New Operator for Shelter on the Pike — “Arlington has finalized new contracts for operation of the County’s two homeless shelters for single adults beginning in January 2020. A-SPAN will continue to operate the Homeless Services Center in the Courthouse Neighborhood, and New Hope Housing will take over from Volunteers of America – Chesapeake & Carolinas to operate the Residential Program Center on Columbia Pike.” [Arlington County]
Thousands Participate in Wreath Laying — “Despite the cold and the rain, thousands of volunteers came to make sure our country’s fallen heroes were honored with wreaths during the 2019 National Wreaths Across America Day at Arlington National Cemetery. There was no mistaking what this meant to families whose loved ones are buried at Arlington National. One of those families watching volunteers flood the cemetery told FOX 5 they couldn’t interview without crying.” [Fox 5]
Trump Campaign Strategizes at Local Hotel — “Over a 90-minute PowerPoint session at a hotel in Arlington, Va., on Thursday, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, campaign manager Brad Parscale and other senior Trump campaign officials presented dozens of national political reporters their theory of how Trump can win again in 2020.” [Axios]
Nearby: Seven Corners Bridge Rehab Complete — “The rehabilitation of the one-way bridge linking the eastbound Route 50 (Arlington Boulevard) service road to Wilson Boulevard (Route 613) is complete, improving safety for drivers and pedestrians and extending the overall life of the bridge.” [VDOT]
Labor Rule Violations Alleged at Temporary HQ2 Projects — “A union is charging that employers at six construction projects that will house Amazon employees or operations in Northern Virginia have evaded federal and state taxes by misclassifying workers, failing to carry workers’ compensation coverage and avoiding overtime pay.” [Washington Post]
Beyer Voting Yes on Impeachment — “The facts allow for no other interpretation: President Trump violated his oath of office to faithfully execute the laws. In order to cover up his offenses, he engaged in unprecedented obstruction of Congress’s oversight power and role as an equal branch of government.” [Press Release]
Voting Precinct Changes Planned — “Voters in two Arlington precincts will see their polling locations changed in 2020. Those in Overlee Knolls (Precinct 017) will move from the Reed School at 1644 North McKinley Road… Those in Rosslyn (Precinct 019) will move from 1911 Fort Myer Drive to the new H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program building.” [InsideNova]
How Arlington’s Streets Got Renamed — “If you harbor gripes that our county government gets too ambitious, consider an episode from the 1930s. In what probably ranks as the most disruptive Arlington project ever, our entire street grid was renamed.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Road Closures for Wreaths Across America — “The annual Wreaths Across America escort of handmade, balsam wreaths destined for Arlington National Cemetery will begin arriving in Arlington County on Friday… On Saturday, December 14th, several thousand volunteers will descend upon the Cemetery and help lay wreaths on every gravesite throughout the property beginning at 8 AM. The public can anticipate large crowds and heavy pedestrian traffic related to the event.” [Arlington County, YouTube]
Holiday Arts and Crafts Show in Crystal City This Weekend — “GRUMP is back for its 9th year, returning to The Shops at Crystal City at 2100 Crystal Drive. GRUMP Crystal City is where you can shop local from 50 exciting artists and makers and stop for a photo op with one of our many Yetis.” [Event Calendar]
Nearby: Police Warn of Abduction Attempt — “City of Falls Church Police are seeking a suspect in an attempted abduction… The suspect is wanted for questioning after he approached a juvenile outside of a grocery store and told the juvenile to leave with him. The suspect left when the juvenile’s mother returned.” [City of Falls Church]
Fire Behind Restaurant in Crystal City — Firefighters responded to a small blaze outside a restaurant in Crystal City last night around 7:30 p.m. The fire, reported to be under a deck behind Andalusia Hookah, Bar & Lounge (525 23rd Street S.), was quickly extinguished, but not before a large fire department response swarmed the scene. Some smoke damaged was reported. [Twitter]
Santa, Carolers at DCA — ” Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport [is] ready to celebrate the holiday season with a variety of performances, giveaways and surprises for passengers throughout the month of December.” [Press Release]
Christmas Tree Fire Safety — “It’s the holiday season in Arlington, which means it’s time to put up your own Christmas tree in the living room. However, be aware you are bringing a major risk into your home… The Arlington County Fire Department says they don’t encourage a live tree in the house, but if you do have a live tree, keep it really watered. Also, make sure to keep any sources of ignition at least three feet away.” [Patch]
Arlington Resident Makes 30 Under 30 List — Adam Richelieu, a 29-year-old Arlington resident who works as a salary cap manager for the NFL Players Association, has been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Sports list for 2020. [Forbes]
Impeachment Banner on Arlington Overpass — “Spotted [Monday]: a banner saying ‘Impeach for our country’ on the George Mason Drive bridge over Route 50. County staff said signs of any kind placed on country property like this are not permitted and will be removed.” [Twitter]
Nearby: New Restaurant Near Fairlington — “The tables are set and the staff at El Saltado Restaurant and Carryout (3616 King Street) say it’s just about ready to open in the Bradlee Shopping Center. The restaurant is replacing the Hong Kong Bistro on the east side of the shopping center.” [ALXnow]
It’s Election Day — Voting today in Arlington will take place between 6 a.m.-7 p.m. at your local polling place. Most of the local candidates in competitive races penned essays describing why Arlington residents should vote for them. [Arlington County]
‘Baby Trump’ Greeting Key Bridge Commuters — Arlington Democrats have inflated a 13-foot “Baby Trump” on the Virginia side of the Key Bridge as part of a get-out-the-vote message. [Twitter]
Anti-Trans Group is Based in Shirlington — “From the 12th floor of a glass office tower in the Washington suburbs, a campaign to sway the governor’s race in Kentucky on Tuesday is being waged with an alarmist claim that has little to do with the race itself: If Democrats have their way, soon boys will be able to compete against girls in school sports.” [New York Times]
Growing Season Over in D.C. Area — “As of this morning, the growing season has been declared to have ended across our entire forecast area. Frost and freeze [watches and warnings] will not be issued again until Spring 2020.” [Twitter]
Pedestrian Enforcement in Clarendon Tomorrow — “As part of the Street Smart campaign, officers will conduct high-visibility traffic enforcement… November 6th from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. [on the] 2700 block of Clarendon Boulevard (Pedestrian Enforcement Detail).” [ARLnow]
Nearby: Va. Tech Unveils Plan for Potomac Yard — “Plans are starting to take shape for North Potomac Yard. Virginia Tech has submitted its first concept plan, showing what its Innovation Campus will look like just as the design of the Potomac Yard Metro station nears its final design phase.” [ALXnow]
Arlington Democrats will be holding a part get-out-the-vote, part pro-impeachment rally in Courthouse this weekend.
The event, organized by the Arlington County Democratic Committee, will feature a 13-foot “Baby Trump” balloon — billed as “similar to the ones that have attracted crowds across the country and in Europe” — as well as remarks by outspoken impeachment proponent Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.)
“Virginians have a beautiful, amazing, really unbelievable opportunity to show Trump that his time is nearly up: by voting bigly in this November’s election!” Arlington Democrats Chair Jill Caiazzo said in a press release (below). “In all seriousness, it’s time for people of conscience to stand up against this corrupt president and his Republican enablers — at our family-friendly rally in Arlington and at the polls across Virginia Nov. 5.”
The rally is happening at Courthouse Plaza, outside Arlington County government HQ (2100 Clarendon Blvd), starting at noon on Saturday. Attendees will be encouraged to vote absentee immediately after the rally.
The full Arlington Democrats press release is below.
A 13-foot “Baby Trump” balloon, similar to the ones that have attracted crowds across the country and in Europe, will dominate the stage at an Arlington County Democratic Committee (Arlington Dems) “Impeach Trump, Then Vote!” rally, at noon Saturday, Oct. 19, in Arlington’s Courthouse neighborhood.
The rally will feature remarks by U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), who represents Arlington and has been a strong proponent of Congress’ ongoing impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. Beyer will be joined by the “Baby Trump” balloon, like the ones that have appeared at protests in Orlando, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, London, and elsewhere.
The rally will take place in the Metro-accessible Courthouse Plaza at 2100 Clarendon Blvd., which is adjacent to the Bozeman Government Center, where “absentee voting in person” is underway in Virginia’s critical Nov. 5 election. Rally attendees are encouraged to come prepared to vote absentee immediately after the rally. Absentee voting information, including eligibility criteria, is available on the Arlington Registrar’s website. For example, Arlington voters who work in DC are eligible to vote absentee and are encouraged to do so now to avoid Election Day logistical challenges.
Absentee voting in person is available at various hours Mondays-Saturdays until Nov. 5. It’s open 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on Oct. 19.
Virginia is the only state in the country in which Democrats are regarded as having a serious shot at flipping both houses of its legislature blue this year. Virginia Republicans now have only a two-seat majority in both the House of Delegates and the Senate. The state’s Democratic Party has mounted a formidable #RetakeTheMajority campaign to flip both houses blue, but success will require robust voter turnout between now and the Nov. 5 election.
“Virginians have a beautiful, amazing, really unbelievable opportunity to show Trump that his time is nearly up: by voting bigly in this November’s election!” Arlington Democrats Chair Jill Caiazzo said, mocking the loquacious, superlative-loving Trump. “In all seriousness, it’s time for people of conscience to stand up against this corrupt president and his Republican enablers–at our family-friendly rally in Arlington and at the polls across Virginia Nov. 5.”
Pedestrian Struck on Crash-Prone Stretch — “A pedestrian was struck on Washington Blvd in front of Washington-Liberty HS around 10 a.m. this morning. The victim was transported to a hospital with minor injuries, per scanner traffic. This stretch has seen numerous pedestrians struck by drivers over the past few years.” [Twitter]
Local Leaders from Wa. Coming to Talk Amazon — “How do you prepare for Amazon.com Inc. when the company plans to drastically grow in your city? That’s what city officials from Bellevue, Washington, hope to learn from our own Arlington, as they send an envoy to meet with county leaders Thursday. The communities… each expect to house more than 4,000 Amazon employees by 2022.” [Washington Business Journal]
Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Approaching — “On Saturday, October 26, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Arlington County Police Department, Arlington County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 18th opportunity in nine years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. This disposal service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.” [Arlington County]
Special Burial and Flyover at ANC — “A pilot who died during WWII was finally laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. Air Force Major Donn Young’s remains were recovered decades after his B-25 bomber crashed in Papua New Guinea… The burial happened, in part, because of an adventurous entrepreneur.” [WJLA]
Another Wohl, Burkman Press Conference — Conservative provocateurs Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl held yet another press conference outside Burkman’s Rosslyn area townhouse to accuse another Democratic presidential candidate of sexual impropriety. The press conference was disrupted by a bagpiper, a process server and a man in a corn suit. [Twitter]
Congressman: Congress Must ‘Do Something’ About Trump — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) tweeted yesterday: “President Trump just said out loud that it’s OK to betray our Kurdish allies and allow the release of 11,000 ISIS fighters because ‘they’re going to be escaping to Europe.’ He’s out of completely out of control and Congress has to do something about it.” [Twitter]
Photo courtesy Catherine Ladd
(Updated at 3 p.m) As calls among Democrats for President Donald Trump’s impeachment grow louder, Arlington’s local congressman is helping to lead the chorus.
In May, Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) become the first member of Virginia’s Congressional delegation to call for an impeachment inquiry. Now, Beyer tells ARLnow that the latest accusations against Trump — that he withheld military aid from Ukraine before pressuring the county’s president to investigate presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son and his business dealings there — are “a turning point” for going further.
“I really don’t see any alternative to actual Articles of Impeachment right now,” Beyer said early Tuesday afternoon. “If we don’t act now, I think we lose all credibility as elected representatives and we violate our oath of office.”
“The notion of colluding with a foreign government, threatening to withhold military support… all basically to convince a foreign government to dig up dirt on a political opponent, it just boggles the mind,” he continued. “This is incredibly creative, nauseating corruption.”
Later, at an American Federation of Government Employees rally near the Capitol, Beyer remarked that “it’s a beautiful afternoon for a rally and a beautiful day to impeach a president,” according to a CNN journalist.
Beyer’s remarks come amid rapid-fire developments in the emerging Ukraine scandal.
Seven freshman House Democrats in conservative districts penned a Washington Post op-ed Monday, saying the Ukraine allegations, if true “represent an impeachable offense.” Civil rights icon and influential Congressional Black Caucus member Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) delivered a lunchtime speech on the House floor today endorsing impeachment proceedings. Joe Biden is also expected to endorse impeachment “if the White House refuses to comply with requests for information from Congress.” And after long avoiding calls for impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reportedly now will call for a formal impeachment inquiry.
Beyer said he plans to attend a Democratic House caucus meeting at 4 p.m. today, after which Pelosi is expected to make an announcement.
“I imagine there will be very few negative voices on impeachment today,” Beyer said, though he added that he believes Pelosi has been right to hold off on impeachment proceedings up until now.
Beyer’s path from supporting an impeachment inquiry this spring to, now, pushing to prepare the Articles of Impeachment and debate them on the House floor, was informed by the seriousness of the new charges, he said.
“Is this serious enough to bring to the House floor, to the American people?” he asked rhetorically. “I’m convinced that the events of the last few days wholly satisfy that test.”
Beyer added that constituents emailing and calling his office have shifted from urging cautious action and focusing on beating Trump in the 2020 election to “100% impeach.”
“There’s this huge sense of helplessness out there that a president can completely ignore the law and destroy the dignity of the office, with no meaningful pushback from the other parts of government,” he said. “The middle has moved completely towards impeachment.”
Beyer acknowledged that the GOP-controlled Senate would be very unlikely to reach the supermajority vote required to remove Trump from office should the House approve Articles of Impeachment. That, however, could change.
“Today, no. But I think after the activity on the House floor it could be very different,” he told ARLnow. “If I were a Republican… I’d want to distance myself from him as soon as possible.”
Should Trump leave office and Vice President Pence, a former Arlington resident, ascend to the presidency, Beyer said it would likely be a net improvement in terms of leadership.
“From a policy standpoint I wouldn’t expect a lot of difference,” the congressman said. “But I would hope that if it was President Pence that he would bring a greater sense of gravity and seriousness and leadership to the position than the narcissistic chaos of Donald Trump.”