Factbox: Coronavirus in Congress: 13 members have tested or been presumed positive
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – At least 13 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate – seven Republicans and six Democrats – have tested positive or are presumed to have had COVID-19 since the pandemic began earlier this year, with Representative Louie Gohmert becoming the latest on Wednesday.
Gohmert said he was asymptomatic, and all the other legislators have recovered. Here is a look at lawmakers affected by the virus:
REPRESENTATIVE LOUIE GOHMERT
The Texas Republican, 66, a staunch conservative, said on Wednesday he tested positive in a prescreening at the White House and would self-quarantine. “It’s really ironic, because a lot of people have made a big deal out of my not wearing a mask a lot. But in the last week or two, I have worn a mask more than I have in the whole last four months.”
REPRESENTATIVE MORGAN GRIFFITH
The Virginia Republican, 62, a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, said in mid-July that he had tested positive. His office said he did not have significant symptoms.
REPRESENTATIVE TOM RICE
The South Carolina Republican, 62, said on Facebook in mid-June that he, his wife and son had all tested positive for the coronavirus but all were “on the mend.”
SENATOR TIM KAINE
The Virginia Democrat and former vice presidential candidate, 62, said in mid-May that he and his wife had tested positive for coronavirus antibodies. But he said they would keep following health guidelines for handwashing, mask wearing and social distancing.
SENATOR BOB CASEY
Casey, 60, a Pennsylvania Democrat, also tested positive for coronavirus antibodies in May, but pledged to keep wearing a mask. He said he had self-quarantined earlier in the spring, after experiencing a low-grade fever and mild flu-like symptoms.
REPRESENTATIVE NEAL DUNN
The Florida Republican, 67, a former surgeon, said in April that he had gone to the emergency room not feeling well and later tested positive for the coronavirus.
REPRESENTATIVE JOE CUNNINGHAM
A Democrat from South Carolina, Cunningham, 38, said on March 27 he had tested positive for the coronavirus. Cunningham had been in self-quarantine since March 19 after learning he had been in contact with another member of Congress who had tested positive.
REPRESENTATIVE MIKE KELLY
Kelly, 72, a Republican from Pennsylvania, tested positive for the coronavirus in late March at a drive-through testing site. He told an interviewer that it took him about a month to recover and that he lost 30 pounds (14 kg).
SENATOR RAND PAUL
The Kentucky Republican, 57, said on March 22 that he had tested positive and was in quarantine, but was feeling fine. After he returned to work, Paul still did not wear a mask and said it was because he believed he was immune.
REPRESENTATIVE MARIO DIAZ-BALART
The Florida Republican, 58, tested positive in mid-March, saying the symptoms “pretty much hit me like a ton of bricks.” After his health improved, Diaz-Balart said he would participate in a plasma donation program to help people with serious or life-threatening infections of COVID-19.
REPRESENTATIVE BEN MCADAMS
The Utah Democrat also caught the virus in March. He was hospitalized and needed oxygen. After his release, he warned others to take the virus seriously. “I’m young, I’m 45 years old, I’m healthy, I exercise every day and it hit me really hard,” he told ABC.
REPRESENTATIVE NYDIA VELAZQUEZ
Velazquez, 67, a Democrat from New York, said in March that she had been diagnosed with a presumed case of the coronavirus, although she had not been tested.
REPRESENTATIVE SETH MOULTON
The Massachusetts Democrat, 41, said in March that he and his wife were in self-quarantine after experiencing coronavirus-like symptoms. The congressman said they did not qualify, however, for testing.
(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Scott Malone and Peter Cooney)
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