'It’s pretty bad': Diaz-Balart, McAdams detail their struggles with COVID-19

Mario Diaz-Balart
By John Bresnahan, Marianne LeVine and Sarah Ferris
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart. | Wilfredo Lee, File/AP Photo
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart spoke out Saturday about his battle with COVID-19 after testing positive for the coronavirus, saying he believes the “worst part" has passed.
“It’s a tricky bug because just when I thought I was over it or I was pretty close to getting over it, the fever will come back,” the Florida Republican said during his first on-camera interview on NBC's "Nightly News."
Diaz-Belart, 58, recalled the symptoms he said “hit him like a ton of bricks” last Saturday after he voted on a coronavirus response bill on the House floor, describing a headache that quickly developed into a fever and cough.
“Now luckily, I have not had an issue breathing so I’ve never had a scary moment but obviously very, very unpleasant with headaches, with coughing, and with a pretty intense fever — all coming at the same time it seems,” he recounted.
Rep. Ben McAdams, 45, the second congressman who has tested positive for the coronavirus, detailed a similar experience.
“I’m feeling about as sick as I’ve been,” the Utah Democrat said during a CNN interview on Friday. “I got really labored breathing. I feel like I have a belt around my chest, really tight. When I cough, my muscles are so sore so I just feel pain every time I cough, which is frequently. I feel short of breath, and I have a fever of about 102. So, it’s pretty bad.”
Diaz-Balart said he has continued with his work while self-quarantining in Washington, D.C., but said there are constitutional questions that need to be answered before allowing fellow lawmakers to vote from home.
“I know that the leadership, House and Senate — bipartisan — they're looking at ways to make sure that they keep people safe and allow Congress to proceed, so we just got to make sure it's done right and it's done safely, but also that it's done constitutionally,” Diaz-Balart said.
As of Saturday evening, there were more than 25,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 307 deaths in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine’s database.
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March 22, 2020
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