Three days after returning to the U.S. Capitol for House debate on a $2.2 trillion economic rescue package to deal with the Coronavirus, Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) announced she was sick with what doctors presume is a Coronavirus infection, raising questions about whether other lawmakers could have been exposed last Friday.
"I noticed that I could no longer smell my perfume or taste my food," Velazquez said in a written statement, noting one of the prominent signs of the Coronavirus.
"My symptoms are mild at the present time," Velazquez added, as she noted that she started to feel bad early on Sunday morning, with an 'abrupt onset of muscle aches, fevers, nasal congestion and stomach upset.'
Velazquez was one of the early speakers in the Friday debate on the Coronavirus plan.
"I am proud of the work we accomplished in this package," the veteran New York Democrat said on the floor.
Velazquez was one of a number of lawmakers from the New York area who came to Capitol Hill for the debate - even though the feds had urged travelers from that region to self-isolate for 14 days, amid concerns that the virus was being spread to other areas.
Four House members have officially tested positive for the Coronavirus; one, Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT) has been hospitalized since last week.
Velazquez not only spoke on the House floor, and visited her office, but also was present for the bill enrollment ceremony with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
You can see her in this photo from the video feed provided by the Speaker's office, standing just to the side of Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), on the left side of the photo.
Also in the room on Friday afternoon with Velasquez, Clyburn, and Speaker Pelosi were House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and a number of other top Democrats in the House.
Leaders of both parties had wanted to quickly approve the economic stimulus measure on Friday, but Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) forced about half of the House to return, in order to have a quorum present for the vote.
Massie did not have enough support to force a vote on the record, and the measure was approved by voice.
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.