Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said on Thursday that he and his wife Anne, who were not tested for the coronavirus, recently tested positive for its antibodies after their health-care providers determined last month that it was “possible” the couple had fallen ill with mild cases. Kaine said in a statement that he was diagnosed with the flu earlier this year and his symptoms lingered through mid-March. “At the end of March, I experienced new symptoms that I initially thought were flu remnants and a reaction to an unusually high spring pollen count,” the senator wrote in a statement. “Then Anne experienced a short bout of fever and chills, followed by congestion and eventually a cough.” Kaine said that he and his wife continued working remotely and in isolation from others in their Richmond home but decided not to seek testing for the coronavirus “due to the national testing shortage.” Instead, the couple continued monitoring their conditions and by mid-April they were symptom free.
“While those antibodies make us less likely to be re-infected or infect others, there is still too much uncertainty over what protection antibodies may actually provide,” Kaine notes. Reports have warned of high false positive rates of the tests that have called into question their reliability. Health officials have cautioned against using the tests as “immunity certificates” or when to stop social distancing. “So we will keep following CDC Guidelines—hand-washing, mask wearing, social distancing,” Kaine continues, “We encourage others to do so as well. It shows those around you that you care about them.”