First Member of Congress to Test Positive for Coronavirus Recovers and Volunteers to Donate Plasma

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Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart has recovered from the coronavirus after becoming the first sitting congressman to test positive for the illness.

“Today, after being deemed #COVID19 free by my doctor, I was able to reunite with my family in Miami,” the Florida Republican announced in a Sunday tweet.

He added that he plans to donate plasma to help other patients, writing, “Though still a bit weak, I feel well, & I applied to participate in the @RedCross plasma donation to help those with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections.”

Diaz-Balart, 58, announced his diagnosis in mid-March after developing a headache and fever. He was soon joined by Democratic Utah Rep. Ben McAdams. Since then, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Reps. Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, a Democrat, and Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, a Republican, have tested positive for the coronavirus. Democratic Rep. Nydia Velazquez of New York was also diagnosed with a “presumed coronavirus infection.”

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration began allowing a new, “blood-related” experimental therapy to help “seriously ill” coronavirus patients called convalescent plasma and eased decades-old restrictions that blocked sexually active gay men from donating blood.