Updated 9:22 p.m. ET
Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Ben McAdams each said Wednesday evening that they have tested positive for COVID-19. They are the first two members of Congress to announce positive tests for the novel coronavirus.
They both said they experienced symptoms and have been self-quarantining.
Diaz-Balart, 58, and McAdams, 45, both voted on the House floor as recently as early Saturday morning, when lawmakers passed a coronavirus relief package.
After the lawmakers’ announcements, Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 2 Republican in the House, said he is self-quarantining because he had an extended meeting with Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart late last week. Scalise says he is not experiencing symptoms and will continue to work remotely on Congress’ coronavirus response. He says he decided to self-quarantine based on guidance from the Attending Physician of the Congress. His full statement is below.
Rep. Drew Ferguson also said he is self-quarantining after Congress’ attending physician informed him he came into contact with a member of Congress who has tested positive for Covid-19, but did not specify who.
A GOP leadership aide said the the attending physician for Congress, Dr. Brian Monahan, is connecting with members who might have been exposed. Monahan is working with lawmakers who are getting tested, and in the result of a positive test, he consults with the lawmaker to map out who they came in contact with in order to advise them to self-quarantine.
McAdams, a Democrat representing Utah’s 4th Congressional District encompassing parts of Salt Lake City, said he developed “mild, cold-like symptoms” on Saturday evening, which then worsened into a fever, cough and labored breathing. He says he “immediately isolated” in his home.
Diaz-Balart, a Republican who represents Florida’s 25th Congressional District, which includes Miami-Dade County, said in a statement that on Saturday evening he developed symptoms, including a fever and a headache.
He had already been in self-quarantine in Washington, D.C., something he said he started “in an abundance of caution” after his vote on the coronavirus relief package.
He said he had not returned to South Florida because his wife, Tia, has a preexisting condition that makes her at high-risk of developing severe disease if she contracts the virus.
On Wednesday, Diaz-Balart was notified that he has a confirmed case of the virus that is quickly spreading across the United States.
Diaz-Balart and McAdams are now among more than 7,700 coronavirus cases in the country.
“I want everyone to know that I am feeling much better. However, it is important that everyone take this extremely seriously and follow CDC guidelines in order to avoid getting sick and mitigate the spread of this virus,” Diaz-Balart said in a statement.
“We must continue to work together to emerge stronger as a country during these trying times,” he said.
Susan Davis contributed to this report.
Source Website 2 Members Of Congress Test Positive For COVID-19 : NPR