First Legislator Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) said Wednesday he has tested positive for the coronavirus, the first member of Congress known to have been so diagnosed.

Update: Not long after Diaz-Balart's announcement, Rep. Ben Adams (D-Utah) said he has also tested positive

Diaz-Balart, 58, started showing symptoms on Saturday, March 14, having already self-quarantined the day before out of an "abundance of caution," he said in his website. 

He was notified late Wednesday that he had tested positive for COVID-19. 

Related: Slammed: The Latest on COVID-19 Disruption in TV Industry

Diaz-Balart continues to work from his Washington apartment, according to his office. 

"I want everyone to know that I am feeling much better," he wrote. "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.” 

Adams said:  

“On Saturday evening, after returning from Washington, D.C., I developed mild cold-like symptoms. In consultation with my doctor on Sunday, I immediately isolated myself in my home. I have been conducting all meetings by telephone. My symptoms got worse and I developed a fever, a dry cough and labored breathing and I remained self-quarantined. On Tuesday, my doctor instructed me to get tested for COVID-19 and following his referral, I went to the local testing clinic for the test. Today I learned that I tested positive. I am still working for Utahns and pursuing efforts to get Utahns the resources they need as I continue doing my job from home until I know it is safe to end my self-quarantine. 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.”

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.