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Coronavirus invades Congress: Florida’s Mario Diaz-Ballart first member to test positive

Diaz-Balart entered self-quarantine on Friday, March 13
Republican Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart welcomed Venezuela’s interim President Juan Guaid at a rally to meet with the exiled Venezuelan community during his visit to Miami, on Saturday, February, 01, 2020.
Republican Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart welcomed Venezuela’s interim President Juan Guaid at a rally to meet with the exiled Venezuelan community during his visit to Miami, on Saturday, February, 01, 2020. [ PEDRO PORTAL | Miami Herald ]
Published Mar. 18, 2020
Updated Mar. 18, 2020

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Miami Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart became the first member of Congress to test positive for the novel coronavirus, his office said Wednesday.

Diaz-Balart entered self-quarantine on Friday, March 13 and stayed in Washington because his wife Tia has a pre-existing medical condition. On Saturday evening, Diaz-Balart devleoped symptoms, including a fever and headache, according to his office.

On Wednesday afternoon, he tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by novel coronavirus.

“I want everyone to know that I am feeling much better,” Diaz-Balart said in a 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.”

Diaz-Balart is the second high-profile Miami politician to test positive for the coronavirus, after Miami Mayor Francis Suarez tested positive last week.

Other members of Congress, including Florida Sen. Rick Scott, have decided to self-quarantine after interacting with individuals who tested positive for the coronavirus. But Diaz-Balart is the first sitting member of the House or Senate to test positive.

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