POLITICS

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart Is First Member Of Congress To Test Positive For Coronavirus

The Florida Republican was voting on the House floor but is now self-quarantined. Rep. Ben McAdams, a Utah Democrat, also tested positive for COVID-19.

Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and Ben McAdams (D-Utah) both announced Wednesday that they have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Hours later, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) reported he was in self-quarantine. 

In a statement, Diaz-Balart said he had developed symptoms of illness, including a high fever and headache, on Saturday. On Wednesday, the Republican congressman was told he had tested positive for coronavirus. 

“I’m feeling much better,” Diaz-Balart tweeted, urging people to “take this seriously” and follow federal health guidelines to avoid spreading the virus.

Though he has been self-quarantined for several days, he was on the floor of the House voting on Friday, where he presumably came in contact with other lawmakers. 

Later Wednesday, McAdams said he’d also tested positive for coronavirus. The Utah Democrat said he’d developed “mild, cold-like” symptoms Saturday after returning from Washington, D.C. He then quarantined himself at home starting Sunday. On Wednesday, he got his positive test results.

He, too, urged people to “take this seriously” and follow health officials’ recommendations.

Scalise said Wednesday night that he is self-quarantining “out of an abundance of caution” because he had an “extended meeting” with Diaz-Balart late last week.

“Fortunately, I am not experiencing any symptoms, and will continue working remotely on Congress’ Coronavirus response, and will remain in close contact with the Trump administration’s Coronavirus task force, my colleagues in Congress, as well as local officials and health professionals in Louisiana to ensure that swift action to address the crisis continues,” Scalise said in a statement.

Earlier this month, several Republican members of Congress self-quarantined after interacting with a person at the Conservative Political Action Conference who later tested positive for coronavirus

President Donald Trump’s doctor said Saturday that the president had tested negative for the virus after he came into contact with Fabio Wajngarten, an aide to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro who was later diagnosed with COVID-19.

As of Wednesday, there were over 100 reported fatalities from COVID-19 in the U.S., with more than 7,000 cases diagnosed across all 50 states. 

This article has been updated with Rep. Steve Scalise announcing he is in self-quarantine.

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