First 2 Lawmakers in Congress Test Positive for COVID-19

March 19, 2020 Updated: March 27, 2020

Two lawmakers have tested positive for the CCP virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, marking the first members of Congress to announce positive tests for the virus.

Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Utah) confirmed his diagnosis on Wednesday, shortly after Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) revealed he had tested positive for the disease, which originated in Wuhan, China.

McAdams said in a statement that he developed mild cold-like symptoms on Saturday evening after returning from Washington, D.C. and after consulting with his physician on Sunday, immediately began self-isolating at his home. He said he is conducting all meetings via phone.

“My symptoms got worse and I developed a fever, a dry cough, and labored breathing and I remained self-quarantined,” he said in the statement. “On Tuesday, my doctor instructed me to get tested for COVID-19 and following his referral, I went to the local testing clinic for the test. Today I learned I tested positive.”

“I am still working for Utahns and pursuing efforts to get Utahns the resources they need as I continue doing my job from home until I know it is safe to end my self-quarantine,” he added.

Diaz-Balart, 58, also confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that he has been in self-quarantine in his Washington, D.C., apartment since Friday out of an “abundance of caution.”

“On Saturday evening, Congressman Diaz-Balart developed symptoms, including a fever and a headache. Just a short while ago, he was notified that he has tested positive for COVID-19. While in quarantine Diaz-Balart has been working from his apartment in Washington, D.C.,” the statement read.

Diaz-Balart said he did not return to his home in South Florida because of his wife Tia’s “preexisting conditions that put her at exceptionally high risk.” Tia is a cancer and chronic lung disease survivor, according to The Hill.

The Florida lawmaker later confirmed on Twitter that he was “feeling much better” but stressed the importance of taking the virus seriously and following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines to mitigate the spread of the virus. “We must continue to work together to emerge stronger as a country during these trying times,” he added.

According to a Johns Hopkins tally, the United States has 9,415 confirmed cases of the disease and 150 deaths attributed to the CCP virus, of which Washington state accounts for 68.

A report published by the CDC on Wednesday said that elderly people are more at risk of dying from the CCP virus, with 80 percent of deaths in the United States involving adults aged 65 or older.

The report recommends social distancing for all ages to slow the spread of the virus, protect the health care system, and protect older adults, while the elderly are urged to “maintain adequate supplies of nonperishable foods and at least a 30-day supply of necessary medications,” and take other precautions such as avoiding large crowds.

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.