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 DunnPelosi asks House chairs to enforce mandatory mask-wearing during hearings House GOP lawmaker tests positive for COVID-19 Don't victimize communities hit by disasters a second time 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 PaulHow conservative conspiracy theories are deepening America's political divide Gianforte halts in-person campaigning after wife, running mate attend event with Guilfoyle Rand Paul's exchange with Fauci was exactly what America needed 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 CunninghamHarrison goes on the attack against Graham in new South Carolina Senate ad Club for Growth unleashes financial juggernaut for 2020 races Focus shifts to House after Senate passes major public lands bill MORE (D-S.C.), Mike KellyGeorge (Mike) Joseph KellyFive takeaways from PPP loan data Lawmaker-linked businesses received PPP loans Hillicon Valley: Livestreaming service Twitch suspends Trump account | Reddit updates hate speech policy, bans subreddits including The_Donald | India bans TikTok MORE (R-Pa.) and Mario Diaz-BalartMario Rafael Diaz-BalartPelosi asks House chairs to enforce mandatory mask-wearing during hearings House GOP lawmaker tests positive for COVID-19 The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Association of American Railroads Ian Jefferies says no place for hate, racism or bigotry in rail industry or society; Trump declares victory in response to promising jobs report 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 PelosiClash looms over next coronavirus relief bill Trump's WHO decision raises bipartisan concerns in House Five takeaways from PPP loan data 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."