Florida Democrat becomes latest breakthrough COVID-19 case in House
Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) said Wednesday that he has tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated, becoming the 10th member of Congress to come down with a breakthrough case in recent weeks.
Soto said that he is experiencing mild symptoms and received a monoclonal antibody treatment on Wednesday “to further reduce potential symptoms.” He also said that he is self-isolating and working remotely until he recovers.
“I recently tested positive for #COVID19, and am grateful to only have mild symptoms, which I credit to the vaccine,” Soto wrote on Twitter.
At least 73 members of Congress have tested positive for COVID-19 since last year, but about six months went by between January and July without any lawmakers announcing that they had caught the virus. Members of Congress were among the first people in the nation with access to the vaccine, as they were prioritized in December for doses under continuity-of-government policies.
But starting in July, some fully vaccinated lawmakers began experiencing breakthrough cases, although they have stressed that their symptoms likely would have been worse without the vaccine.
Since July, Reps. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), Sharice Davids (D-Kan.), Troy Nehls (R-Texas) and Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Angus King (I-Maine) and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) have all tested positive even though they are fully vaccinated.
In addition, two House Republicans — Reps. Clay Higgins (La.) and Barry Moore (Ala.) — also announced they tested positive this summer, but it is not clear if they were vaccinated.
The Capitol physician reinstated the House mask mandate in July amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19. While nearly all lawmakers have complied with the rules in the House chamber due to the threat of a $500 fine if they don’t wear a mask in that particular space, most Republicans and their staff have of late ignored the mask requirement while they are in the surrounding hallways or House office buildings.
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