POLITICS

Former Impeachment Investigator Tests Positive For COVID-19, Slams Testing Process

"The President is sacrificing the health of the American public for his own personal interests," Daniel Goldman tweeted Sunday.

Daniel Goldman, an attorney and former congressional staffer who served as the House Intelligence Committee’s majority counsel, revealed Sunday that he tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus spreading worldwide.

Goldman, who was thrust into the national spotlight during the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump and the subsequent Senate trial, said in series of tweets that he is steadily recovering from the disease. He also railed against the chaotic experience of trying to get tested for the virus in New York.

“I am almost back to 100%,” Goldman tweeted Sunday. “I’m lucky enough not to fall in the vulnerable category and, for me, it was just like the flu.”

“My difficulty in getting a test despite the exact symptoms and a [negative] flu test underscores how shockingly unprepared this administration is to deal with this pandemic,” he added.

Goldman first tweeted about his attempt at getting tested on Wednesday. Though Trump has promised that “anybody that needs a test” can get one, state officials, doctors and patients ― including Goldman ― have widely disputed this.

More than 1,600 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19, including at least 41 people who have died, though that number is expected to jump over the next few weeks as tests become more widely available.

Goldman said he tried to get a test in New York City after experiencing flu-like symptoms, including a fever and headache, but was unable to secure one. He blamed the lack of available tests for the issue.

A day later, he tweeted that he was in a hospital bed at Weill Cornell Medicine in Manhattan awaiting chest X-rays and another flu test. But because his symptoms were not serious enough for him to be admitted to the hospital, he said, he was not eligible for a COVID-19 test.

“This is pure triage, not any solution,” Goldman tweeted. “Was told to go home and isolate until I feel better.”

On Friday, the same day Trump declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Goldman drove to one of Connecticut’s drive-through testing facilities. He was told it could take up to four days to get results.

On Sunday, Goldman shared that he tested positive for COVID-19. While he said he is grateful for the support and his expected recovery, he is shocked by the inefficient testing process.

“I was told that NYC hospitals STILL would not test my wife — with similar symptoms — unless admitted,” he tweeted. ”[Trump] can try to gaslight the American public by repeatedly saying that everyone who needs a test can get one, but that was not true one month ago (when it should have been the case) and it is not true today (when there is no excuse).”

He continued:

The upshot of my experience is that there are almost certainly hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people walking around the United States with #COVID19. I didn’t take no for an answer to get a test, but many people might. And they go home to transmit it unknowingly.

And because I did not knowingly come into contact with a “known positive,” docs said my family could go about their business. But we can’t know if people are positive if they can’t get a test! This is the administration’s great failing — the only way to stop this is to test.

One final note: I may be the first you know who tested positive, but I won’t be the last. Let’s take care of each other, listen to the experts and the cities, states and corporations who are taking the lead in the absence of the fed government, and get through this together. 

Goldman stepped down from his position as the director of investigations for the House Intelligence Committee on March 6 and said he was returning to New York to spend more time with his family.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) tweeted Sunday that he had been informed of Goldman’s diagnosis. Schiff said doctors believed Goldman contracted the virus after he left the office, but Schiff said he would take additional precautions such as teleworking anyway.

“Even prior to receiving this notification, we had postponed my district events and meetings, and requested that my staff telecommute from home for the foreseeable future out of an abundance of caution,” Schiff said.

“Throughout this health crisis, I feel that the job of elected officials is to push out the best information possible, listen to the advice of public health professionals and scientists, and be cautious,” he added.

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