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Dem lawmaker presumed positive for coronavirus days after posing with Nancy Pelosi

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A New York Democrat who attended a bill ceremony last week with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she was diagnosed “with presumed coronavirus infection.”

Rep. Nydia Velazquez shared Monday that she was experiencing only mild symptoms and that she was not given a test for COVID-19, adding that she is self-isolating at home after her doctor diagnosed her by phone.

(Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call)

“In the wee hours of Sunday morning, I began to feel under the weather,” Velazquez said in a statement.

“I developed the abrupt onset of muscle aches, fevers, nasal congestion and stomach upset. I noticed that I could no longer smell my perfume or taste my food,” the 67-year-old chair of the House Small Business Committee added. “After speaking with The Attending Physician by phone, I was diagnosed with presumed coronavirus infection.”

Velazquez was on Capitol Hill on Friday, as members of Congress returned to Washington to vote on the $2.2 trillion stimulus package after Rep. Thomas Massie threatened to raise a procedural objection, demanding a roll-call vote instead of the “voice vote” which would not require any one of the lawmakers to be present in person, amid concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

The New York lawmaker even spoke from the podium and was seen standing behind Pelosi, and near other lawmakers, at the signing of the bill on Friday.

(Image: Global News screenshot)

Several House members have tested positive for the virus. Reps. Joe Cunningham, D-S.C., Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., Mike Kelly, R-Pa., and Ben McAdams, D-Utah tested positive as did Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who announced last week that he had contracted the coronavirus though he was “asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution.”

Following the news from Velazquez, Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s spokesman, said the 80-year-old Democratic leader had “consulted with the Attending Physician who found her contact to be of low risk and recommended the Speaker take no particular action,” according to NBC News.

Velazquez, whose district includes parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, indicated that she is “working remotely” from home.

‘My symptoms are mild at the present time and I am taking Tylenol for fever, and isolating myself at my home. At the advice of The Attending Physician, neither COVID 19 laboratory testing nor a doctor’s office visit was recommended. I am carefully monitoring my symptoms, working remotely and in constant contact with my staff,” she said in her statement.

The lawmaker, whose home state remains the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., assured her constituents that “together we overcome this virus.”

“I’ll continue my work on behalf of New Yorkers as together we overcome this virus,” she said.” In that regard, I encourage everyone to stay at home and continue practicing social distancing.”

Frieda Powers


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