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 DunnThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - House to vote on Biden social spending bill after McCarthy delay Six takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections Acting FTC chair urges Congress to revive agency authority after Supreme Court decision 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 PaulI'm furious about Democrats taking the blame — it's time to fight back Rand Paul cancels DirecTV subscription after it drops OAN Trump slams Biden, voices unsubstantiated election fraud claims at first rally of 2022 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 CunninghamMace chief of staff steps down during turbulent week Pediatrician unveils challenge to GOP's Mace in South Carolina 'Blue wave' Democrats eye comebacks after losing reelection MORE (D-S.C.), Mike KellyGeorge (Mike) Joseph KellyMomentum builds to prohibit lawmakers from trading stocks Pelosi faces pushback over stock trade defense Nunes resignation sets off GOP scramble on Ways and Means MORE (R-Pa.) and Mario Diaz-BalartMario Rafael Diaz-BalartAnother voice of reason retires Defense contractors ramp up donations to GOP election objectors Bottom line 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.

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 PelosiPelosi says she's open to stock trading ban for Congress Manchin: Biden spending plan talks would start 'from scratch' Reps. Massie, Grijalva test positive for COVID-19 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."