Rep. Ben McAdams, a freshman Democrat from Utah, has tested positive for the coronavirus, his office announced on Wednesday night. McAdams, 45, is the second member of Congress to have announced a positive test after Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart became the first to reveal his diagnosis on Wednesday evening.
In a statement, McAdams said he began developing cold-like symptoms after returning to Utah from Washington, D.C., on Saturday. After his symptoms worsened, he obtained a test on Tuesday, which came back positive.
“I’m doing my part as all Americans are doing to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate the coronavirus outbreak. I urge Utahns to take this seriously and follow the health recommendations we’re getting from the CDC and other health experts so that we can recover from this public health threat,” he said.
Earlier Wednesday evening, Diaz-Balart, a Florida Republican, announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 after developing “a fever and a headache” over the weekend.
At least one lawmaker quickly announced they would be self-quarantining as a result of the news. Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA) tweeted on Wednesday night that Congress’ attending physician informed him he’d been in contact with a lawmaker who has tested positive. Ferguson said he was not showing any symptoms.
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the second-ranking House Republican, has also announced that he will be self quarantining “out of an abundance of caution” because he met with Diaz-Balart recently. He said he was not experiencing any symptoms.
A number of other lawmakers in the House and Senate have decided to self-quarantine after coming into contact with infected individuals as the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. worsens. Several Republicans, such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and the White House chief of staff-to be, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), did so after attending the Conservative Political Action conference, where an infected attendee interacted with many high-level officials. Just in the past day, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) both announced they would self-quarantine after meeting with a constituent in D.C. who tested positive.