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House GOP lawmaker tests positive for COVID-19

Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) announced Monday that he and his family had tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the eighth member of Congress to have a confirmed or presumed case of the disease.

Rice said in a Facebook post that he, his wife and son had developed symptoms of COVID-19 - which he referred to as the "Wuhan flu" - in the last week but are now recovering.

"We are all on the mend and doing fine," Rice wrote. He noted that his son had "gotten really sick" with a fever and "really bad cough," while his wife had a "slight" fever with a cough and aches.

Rice said that he had milder symptoms but lamented that he had lost his sense of taste and smell - and expressed particular frustration that he is unable to enjoy bacon.

"I was lucky, and it was not bad for me. I had a low fever and a mild cough. It was gone by Thursday. I never stopped eating or drinking or working or moving. The only bad thing is I have completely lost sense of taste and smell. CAN'T TASTE BACON!!!" Rice wrote.

"We are finishing our quarantine and looking forward to seeing you all again. Friends, please wash your hands and take precautions," Rice concluded.

Six other members of Congress have also tested positive for the coronavirus and since recovered: Reps. Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.), Ben McAdams (D-Utah), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Neal Dunn (R-Fla.) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), as well as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

A seventh lawmaker, House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), said on March 30 that she had been diagnosed with a "presumed" coronavirus infection after displaying symptoms but was not officially tested.

Rice and other Republicans, including President Trump, have been referring to the coronavirus as the "Wuhan virus" or "Chinese virus" to highlight the Chinese city where it first emerged late last year. But public health officials have discouraged labeling the coronavirus with those terms to avoid stigmatizing where it originated and have officially referred to the disease caused by the coronavirus as COVID-19.

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