Loranne Ausley says she contracted COVID-19 from Jason Shoaf
Sen. Loranne Ausley and Rep. Jason Shoaf.

Ausley Shoaf
Ausley says Shoaf was maskless during meetings Friday.

Sen. Loranne Ausley says she likely contracted the new coronavirus from Rep. Jason Shoaf during Tallahassee delegation meetings last week.

Ausley told the Tallahassee Democrat Tuesday she believed she knew who she contracted the COVID-19 virus from, later confirming she believed it was Shoaf. Ausley tested positive Sunday, but began quarantining Saturday after Shoaf told her he was developing symptoms.

He experienced symptoms for the first time on Saturday and tested positive. He has stayed home since he felt symptomatic, he also said.

The Port St. Joe Republican whose district largely overlaps with Ausley’s district, did not deny the assertion in statements to Florida Politics Tuesday.

“I’m not interested in exchanging guesses or allegations with her,” Shoaf wrote in a text. “I hope she heals quickly.”

He did note that the two shared several meetings and contact with some of the same people.

“I am unsure where or when I contracted the virus,” he said.

“I extend my prayers to Sen. Ausley and her family for a quick recovery,” he continued. “We have important work to do for our state, and I am focused on doing what I can from home and getting back to work as soon as it is safe to do so.”

A photograph from the meeting shows Shoaf, who led the meeting, not wearing a mask while at the dias, possibly while speaking. Officials routinely remove their masks to speak into their microphones. That included Shoaf and Ausley during two Friday meetings.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say it takes on average five to six days for someone to develop symptoms after contracting the virus. But Ausley insisted she knew it was Shoaf who gave her the virus, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

“There’s no way to know with absolute certainty,” she told the Democrat. “However, I was at two delegation meetings Friday night, in enclosed rooms with a member of my delegation who was not wearing a mask.”

Ausley has not returned Florida Politics’ request for comment.

Ausley also attended a Gulf Winds Track Club race 10 days ago, according to the Democrat. She doubted she could have contracted it there because of coronavirus protections in place at the race.

With Ausley and Shoaf now attending Legislature committee week meetings remotely, half of Leon County’s delegation aren’t present for in-person meetings. Democratic Reps. Ramon Alexander and Allison Tant are able to attend meetings as normal, with COVID-19 protocols in place.

Shoaf said he is feeling back to normal Tuesday but will continue isolating.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


4 comments

  • Sonja Fitch

    January 27, 2021 at 6:13 am

    Absolutely crazy shit putting people at risk! Wtf! Now that the mutation is here in Florida it is recommended to wear two masks! You lousy wanna be killers put on the 2 masks! Sir you need to be arrested for attempting murder!

  • just sayin

    January 27, 2021 at 8:37 am

    Not a good move at all. She should know better. If she truly wants to do what’s best for the Tallahassee area, put on a united front and don’t throw Shoaf under the bus. She gains nothing by doing this and loses an ally.

    Sonja – you attempt murder every time you post. It’s truly awful.

  • Whoisthis

    January 27, 2021 at 11:17 am

    Over 25,000 Floridians dead from the virus and the anti-maskers don’t care. We can we stop calling Republicans pro-life?

  • lavittapow

    February 2, 2021 at 7:44 am

    A photograph from the meeting shows Shoaf, who led the meeting, not wearing a mask while at the dias, possibly while speaking.

    Why say possibly while speaking? Was he speaking or not speaking? Where can the photograph be found in order to come to our own conclusion since you don’t want to precisely say if he was speaking.

    Officials routinely remove their masks to speak into their microphones. That included Shoaf and Ausley during two Friday meetings.

    So she is equally responsible for removing her masks as well?

    If officials routinely remove their mask when speaking and only two people got covid then is it possible that covid doesn’t transmit that easy?

    “However, I was at two delegation meetings Friday night, in enclosed rooms with a member of my delegation who was not wearing a mask.”

    Was there more members besides the both of them? And how many of those members were and were not wearing a mask. How many members placed their mask down exposing their mouth for a short period of time?

Comments are closed.


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