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Republican Becomes First Member Of Congress To Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday after experiencing symptoms, becoming the first known member of Congress to contract the rapidly spreading virus.

Diaz-Balart, who represents parts of Miami and South Florida, said in a statement that he began experiencing symptoms on Saturday “including a fever and headache.” He was informed that he had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease that results from the novel coronavirus, on Wednesday.

“I want everyone to know that I am feeling much better,” the lawmaker said in the statement. “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.”

Members of Congress have been worried about the prospects of contracting the virus, with some arguing that lawmakers should be able to vote remotely to avoid traveling back and forth to Washington. At least 15 lawmakers so far have gone into self-quarantine after coming into contact or being in the vicinity of someone who has tested positive for the virus.

The infection comes as Congress begins work on a third legislative package that will offer more help for Americans and businesses that are hurting due to the virus.

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