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U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez is presumed to have the coronavirus

The lawmaker began to feel ill just days after voting on a $2 trillion coronavirus relief package.

March 30, 2020 Mary Frost
U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez easily won Tuesday’s Democratic Primary. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

U.S. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez says she has been given a presumptive diagnosis of the novel coronavirus. She began to feel sick Sunday morning, Velázquez said in a statement.

“In the wee hours of Sunday morning, I began to feel under the weather. I developed the abrupt onset of muscle aches, fevers, nasal congestion and stomach upset. I noticed that I could no longer smell my perfume or taste my food,” she said.

“After speaking with the attending physician by phone, I was diagnosed with presumed coronavirus infection. My symptoms are mild at the present time and I am taking Tylenol for fever and isolating myself at my home,” she said.

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At the attending physician’s advice, neither COVID-19 laboratory testing nor a doctor’s office visit was recommended, Velázquez added.

“I am carefully monitoring my symptoms, working remotely and in constant contact with my staff.  I’ll continue my work on behalf of New Yorkers as together we overcome this virus. In that regard, I encourage everyone to stay at home and continue practicing social distancing,” she said.

Velázquez, who represents a wide swath of Brooklyn from Williamsburg to Sunset Park, along with parts of Queens and lower Manhattan, was in Washington D.C. last week, speaking on the House floor on Friday during the debate on the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. NBC notes that she “stood near 80-year-old House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the signing.”

Numerous supporters sent Velázquez good wishes and recommendations for getting better (tea and electrolytes) on Twitter after she tweeted the news.

“We love you,” wrote Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon.

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“We’re all pulling for you,” said Sen. Brad Hoylman.

“Pronta recuperación,” said supporter Janet Negron.

“I am one of your constituents. Thank you for all you do and have been doing during this crisis. I wish you good health and a speedy recovery,” said a Twitter user with the handle OpinionatedKyle.

On March 23, Velazquez introduced legislation to suspend rent contributions for tenants in public housing and the Section 8 program during the coronavirus  crisis.

“Our neighbors shouldn’t have to worry about falling behind on rent during this national emergency,” she tweeted.

Representing the 7th District, Velazquez has been deeply involved in Brooklyn politics since 1983, when she was named by then-Borough President Howard Golden to serve on a vacant seat on the New York City Council. She’s the first Puerto Rican woman to serve in Congress, and is the Ranking Democratic Member of the House Small Business Committee. She also serves on the House Financial Services Committee.


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