Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) does not currently have COVID-19 but did test positive for antibodies, he confirmed to The Daily Beast in a text message, following reports that the Florida Republican had in fact contracted the virus. According to Politico’s Playbook newsletter Saturday morning, Gaetz told numerous people in Washington, D.C. that he contracted COVID-19. He then refuted the claim and tweeted a statement denigrating Politico’s journalism. Separately, Gaetz told a Washington Post reporter that he has “no clue” when he might have had the coronavirus, but claims he never had any symptoms.
COVID-19 has swept through the GOP in recent weeks, beginning with an outbreak in October after more than 150 people attended a White House event for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. On Saturday, there was a fresh batch of White House officials infected with COVID-19, including President Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows. Gaetz came under fire last March for making light of the pandemic by showed up in a gas mask to a congressional vote on coronavirus aid.