'You gave me Covid': Dem Rep Katie Porter denies she fired staffer over Covid as text screenshots emerge

'You gave me Covid': Dem Rep Katie Porter denies she fired staffer over Covid as text screenshots emerge
US Representative Katie Porter fired a member of her staff because she was COVID positive and passed on the virus to her (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Representative Katie Porter denied dismissing a worker for passing on Covid-19 to her, despite a testy text message conversation implying so. The text exchange took place in July, according to Porter's office, and at the time the employee was working on a two-year fellowship that was long-anticipated to finish in August. 

With the caption, "VIBE CHECK: Rep. Katie Porter fires staffer after both test positive for COVID," the Capitol Hill-famous Twitter and Instagram account Dear White Staffers posted a text exchange between the California Democrat and an employee. Detailed text messages from the congresswoman who terminated a member of the staff were shared online. Screenshots of texts between Porter, a Democrat from California, and former employee Sasha Georgiades depict Porter telling Georgiades "you gave me Covid." Porter also did not accept the staff member's apology or her justification for not testing negative for the virus which was that she was too distraught over a friend's death to do so. 

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Georgiades also acknowledged that although she had planned to quit, she had not been fired. “Congresswoman Porter was informing her that she would work from home for the remaining three weeks of her fellowship,” Porter’s spokesperson Jordan Wong told Daily Mail. “Why did you not follow office protocol on testing? It's really disappointing,” Porter said in July. “I'm terribly sorry. You're right I should have done better. Just because I felt okay in the moment doesn't mean I was,” the staffer wrote back. “Sasha -- I cannot allow you back in the office given your failure to follow office policies. Cody will be in touch about (sic) having your personal effects shipped or delivered to your home, and will lay out your remote work schedule and responsibilities for the last few weeks,” Porter said during the time. Georgiades continued by thanking Porter and informing her that, “I hate to have disappointed you in the manner, as I know it isn't an excuse I had found out a friend from the navy had been murdered and my head wasn't in the right place. Not an excuse but the reasoning for the lack of forethought. I appreciate everything this office has done for me.”

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Porter retaliated, “Well you gave me covid. In 25 months, it took you not following the rules to get me sick. My children have nobody to care for them.” As a veteran and military member liaison in Porter's office, Georgiades was a Wounded Warrior Fellow. She told Daily Mail that although she wasn't let go, the incident led to her being essentially barred from the workplace. She claimed that she hosted a Facebook Live event with Porter, and soon after, she tested positive. After she alerted the office about the test, Porter texted her, and "from that point out, she never said another word to me." Georgiades claimed that despite her desire to continue in politics, she had become weary of the whole ordeal. “By the end of it, it just felt like, no matter what I tried to do, nothing was being received, and nothing that I was doing was being taken seriously. So I just, I couldn't do it,” she said.

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