Two members of Congress have announced they have tested positive for the coronavirus. Representative Ben McAdams, a Democrat from Utah, and Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, a Republican from Florida, are the first two lawmakers who are confirmed to have the coronavirus.
As the virus continues to spread across the world, people may have the virus and not even know it. The symptoms are not the same for everyone, and some have no symptoms at all. They are simply carriers of the illness as their immune systems are high and fight off the virus.
Diaz-Balart, who is 58 years old, claims he felt the symptoms come around after he left the House of Representatives when the voting was completed for the coronavirus response bill. There were over 400 representatives in the chamber who voted on the bill, and the two Congressmen are the only ones so far to test positive.
There is no indication of whether he informed the other House members immediately after contracting the symptoms, but he put out a statement he immediately made the decision to “self-quarantine in Washington, DC.
Diaz-Balart stated, “I want everyone to know that I am feeling much better. 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.”
McAdams, who is 45 years old, stated he felt the symptoms come around the same time as Diaz-Balart. Both felt the signs right after the House vote. McAdams immediately returned to his home state of Utah and quickly began self-quarantine by doctor’s orders.
He put out this statement Wednesday, “My symptoms got worse, and I developed a fever, a dry cough and labored breathing, and I remained self-quarantined. 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 that I tested positive.”
Diaz-Balart made the decision not to go back to his home state of Florida because his wife had a pre-existing condition. He explained she would be “at exceptionally high risk.” It is a smart way to handle the situation even though it is tough being away from one’s family. Everyone has to make adjustments in these types of situations.
There were no indications for the other members of Congress to self-quarantine. The news spread quickly once the members found out about the two new members of Congress who tested positive. Republican Representative Drew Ferguson told reporters the House doctor advised him to “self-quarantine until March 27 because he was in contact with a member of Congress on March 13 that has since tested positive for COVID-19.
With the news of these two congressmen contracting the virus, Capitol Hill is also included in the panic attack. The elderly lawmakers who are vulnerable are taking extra precautions during these trying times. The scare is not just with the citizens as the politicians are not exempt as we all are witnessing.
Everyone understandably is concerned about what is happening, but everyone needs to stay as calm as possible. Panicking can only make the situation worse. We are all in this together.
Changes are being looked into on how the House can vote on upcoming bills to ease the pandemic. At first, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, along with her fellow Democrats, are not looking to budge on Representatives coming into the House to cast their votes. They feel it will add to the scare if they give in to the fear. Other Representatives are telling Pelosi to think again.
If it is possible, they would have to find a way to cast their votes from home or another disclosed location. Pelosi is looking to get everyone infected by not following the guidelines the government is strategically putting out.
Democratic Representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell tweeted, “In. Person. Voting. Should. Be. Reconsidered. For the safety of our communities, during this emergency, we must be able to legislate from our districts.”
Both parties seem to come to the agreement; they must follow the same standards of what they are demanding the public to do. A total of 50 members on both sides of the aisle is pushing and wrote a letter to Pelosi and her most prominent supporters to reconsider. As always, Nancy Pelosi has to be hard-headed about the idea of reason.