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Lawmaker battling kidney cancer hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19

Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-Minn.) announced on Tuesday that he is being hospitalized as a precaution after testing positive for a COVID-19 breakthrough case.

Hagedorn, who is battling kidney cancer, said he received the positive COVID-19 test result on Monday and is “experiencing very mild symptoms.”

He said his doctors asked that he receive observation and treatment at the Mayo Clinic because of his “current circumstances and treatment for kidney cancer.”

The Minnesota Republican revealed in July that his kidney cancer had resurfaced. He was first diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer in February 2019.

“Given my current circumstances and treatment for kidney cancer, doctors are taking every precaution to ensure a complete recovery and have requested that I receive observation and treatment at the Mayo Clinic,” Hagedorn said in a statement.

“I will work with the professionals at Mayo until it is safe for me to return to my home in Blue Earth or travel to work in Washington,” he added, referring to his community in Minnesota.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that cancer can cause more severe illness for COVID-19 patients. The agency says treatments for different types of cancer can weaken the body’s means to fight off disease.

However, while the CDC says that COVID-19 breakthrough cases are expected for those who are vaccinated, like Hagedorn, they are less likely to lead to serious illness compared to infections in unvaccinated individuals.

Hagedorn is the latest U.S. lawmaker to test positive for COVID-19. Earlier on Tuesday, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced that he tested positive for the virus.

The spike in lawmakers testing positive for COVID-19 comes as the U.S. is seeing a nationwide surge in cases, driven in part by the highly transmissible omicron variant.

The Capitol itself is seeing an increase in coronavirus infectionsCapitol physician Brian Monahan sent a memo to lawmakers on Monday that said the average positivity rate had risen from less than 1 percent to greater than 13 percent.

The majority of the cases, however, have been breakthrough cases among vaccinated individuals.

Tags Breakthrough infection Cancer COVID-19 Jim Hagedorn Rob Portman

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