Three days after returning to the U.S. Capitol for House debate on a $2.2 trillion economic rescue package to deal with the Coronavirus, Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) announced she was sick with what doctors presume is a Coronavirus infection, raising questions about whether other lawmakers could have been exposed last Friday.
"I noticed that I could no longer smell my perfume or taste my food," Velazquez said in a written statement, noting one of the prominent signs of the Coronavirus.
"My symptoms are mild at the present time," Velazquez added, as she noted that she started to feel bad early on Sunday morning, with an 'abrupt onset of muscle aches, fevers, nasal congestion and stomach upset.'
Velazquez was one of the early speakers in the Friday debate on the Coronavirus plan.
"I am proud of the work we accomplished in this package," the veteran New York Democrat said on the floor.
I have been diagnosed with presumed coronavirus infection. My symptoms are mild. I am isolating myself at my home and following the guidance of the Office of Attending Physician.— Rep. Nydia Velazquez (@NydiaVelazquez) March 30, 2020
My full statement is below. pic.twitter.com/9TgPXoy9dN
I'm back in DC as we prepare to pass the #coronavirus stimulus package. More will be needed, but this bill is a good first step. There are reports one GOP Member may delay this bill, but make no mistake, we WILL pass this bill for families, workers & small businesses. #CARESAct pic.twitter.com/L1cM7fQXtU— Rep. Nydia Velazquez (@NydiaVelazquez) March 27, 2020
Velazquez was one of a number of lawmakers from the New York area who came to Capitol Hill for the debate - even though the feds had urged travelers from that region to self-isolate for 14 days, amid concerns that the virus was being spread to other areas.
Four House members have officially tested positive for the Coronavirus; one, Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT) has been hospitalized since last week.
Velazquez not only spoke on the House floor, and visited her office, but also was present for the bill enrollment ceremony with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
You can see her in this photo from the video feed provided by the Speaker's office, standing just to the side of Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), on the left side of the photo.
Also in the room on Friday afternoon with Velasquez, Clyburn, and Speaker Pelosi were House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and a number of other top Democrats in the House.
Leaders of both parties had wanted to quickly approve the economic stimulus measure on Friday, but Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) forced about half of the House to return, in order to have a quorum present for the vote.
Massie did not have enough support to force a vote on the record, and the measure was approved by voice.
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