Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and Ben McAdams, D-Utah, released statements saying they had tested positive for COVID-19 — the first two known cases in Congress. Several other lawmakers have cycled in and out of self-isolation after exposure to individuals who had later tested positive for the virus.
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Diaz-Balart has become the first known member of Congress to test positive for the new coronavirus.
Diaz-Balart entered self-quarantine in Washington Friday, according to a statement. He said he decided not to return to South Florida because his wife has a pre-existing medical condition. Diaz-Balart developed symptoms, including a fever and headache, on Saturday. He learned Wednesday that he had tested postive for the COVID-19 virus.
“I want everyone to know that I am feeling much better,” Diaz-Balart said in a statement Wednesday. “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. We must continue to work together to emerge stronger as a country during these trying times.”
Other members of Congress, including Florida Sen. Rick Scott, have self-quarantined, but none have reported positive test results. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez tested positive for the virus last week.
Diaz-Balart has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2003.