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Florida Republican becomes sixth member of Congress to test positive for coronavirus

Florida Republican becomes sixth member of Congress to test positive for coronavirus
© Greg Nash

Rep. Neal DunnNeal Patrick DunnOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Nine, including former Michigan governor, charged over Flint water crisis | Regulator finalizes rule forcing banks to serve oil, gun companies | Trump admin adds hurdle to increase efficiency standards for furnaces, water heaters READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Fla.) said Thursday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the sixth member of Congress confirmed to have the disease.

Dunn's office said in a statement that he went to the emergency room on Monday not feeling well and later tested positive for the coronavirus.

Dunn, a former surgeon, is now self-quarantining at home and "expects a full recovery soon."

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"Congressman Dunn emphasizes that we must continue to do what we can to target vulnerable places and populations to slow the spread of this disease. He is keenly interested in new and faster testing to help everyone understand their risks," the statement added, according to WCTV.

Five other members of Congress have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent weeks, and Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) said she did not get officially tested but is "presumed" to have contracted the virus after showing mild symptoms.

Most of the lawmakers who have fallen ill have reported progress in recent days. Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Utah) announced this week that he was virus-free, as did Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulHawley votes against anti-Asian hate crime bill Hillicon Valley: Tech companies duke it out at Senate hearing | Seven House Republicans vow to reject donations from Big Tech Senate panel greenlights sweeping China policy bill MORE (R-Ky.), an ophthalmologist who is now volunteering at a local hospital.

The other lawmakers who said they tested positive were Reps. Joe CunninghamJoseph CunninghamRepublicans race for distance from 'America First Caucus' Lobbying world We lost in November — we're proud we didn't take corporate PAC money MORE (D-S.C.), Mike KellyGeorge (Mike) Joseph KellyFemale Republicans 'horrified' by male GOP lawmaker's description of Cheney: report GOP lawmakers raise concerns about child tax credit expansion Republican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC MORE (R-Pa.) and Mario Diaz-BalartMario Rafael Diaz-BalartBottom line GOP lawmakers ask Biden administration for guidance on reopening cruise industry The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by Facebook — Biden delivers 100 million shots in 58 days, doses to neighbors MORE (R-Fla.).

The number of coronavirus cases among members of Congress has heightened fears of lawmakers traveling to and congregating in the Capitol to vote on legislation when doing so could risk exposing themselves and others to the virus.

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Members of both parties have called for establishing a virtual voting system similar to ones used by legislatures in some states and other countries so that lawmakers can cast votes on bills from their districts, instead of turning to processes like voice votes or unanimous consent that only require a handful of people in the chamber.

But House and Senate leaders say that's easier said than done.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Pelosi pushes for drug pricing measure | South Africa to resume administering Johnson & Johnson vaccine | Early data indicate Pfizer, Moderna vaccines safe for pregnant women Allow a vote on the 'Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act' Female Republicans 'horrified' by male GOP lawmaker's description of Cheney: report MORE (D-Calif.) said Thursday that there are logistical and security concerns about using technology to vote remotely.

"There are some technologies that you might think would be workable, but they might not be secure," Pelosi told reporters.

At the same time, Pelosi acknowledged, "I'll be very frank with you: We don't want anybody coming back at any time that might not be healthy for them."