Politics

Ayanna Pressley announces she tested negative for COVID-19

"As an asthmatic and as someone who had been in contact with a colleague who tested positive for COVID-19, it was determined that I fell into a high risk category."

Rep. Ayanna Pressley after speaking at an abortion rights rally earlier this month outside the Supreme Court. Andrew Harnik / AP

Rep. Ayanna Pressley says she has tested negative for COVID-19, after experiencing flu-like symptoms and seeking medical treatment earlier in the week.

Apparently, it was in fact just the flu.

“I am relieved to report that I have tested negative for COVID-19,” Pressley said in a statement Friday afternoon.

“I am, however still recovering from the flu, but feeling much better and continuing to work remotely with my team on COVID-19 response,” the Massachusetts congresswoman said. “I am touched by the outpouring of support and concern for me and my family. My heart goes out to, and I continue to send prayers up for those battling this virus, and the surviving family members of those who have tragically already passed.”

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Pressley’s office announced Wednesday night that she had been tested for the coronavirus, which in Massachusetts has resulted in 3,240 confirmed cases and 35 deaths. In her statement Friday, the Boston Democrat said she contacted her primary care doctor after she began feeling ill.

“As an asthmatic and as someone who had been in contact with a colleague who tested positive for COVID-19, it was determined that I fell into a high risk category,” she said (her office did not immediately specify which colleague).

Four members of Congress have tested positive for the coronavirus and at least three dozen have taken steps to self-quarantine due to potential contraction of it. Rep. Seth Moulton, a fellow Massachusetts Democrat, announced Wednesday that he and his wife were self-quarantining after experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19. However, because their symptoms were minor, Moulton said they were told they did not qualify for a test.

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Pressley added Friday that she was “grateful for the safe, compassionate and efficient response by healthcare providers at Massachusetts General Hospital who treated me and the dozens more who had presented with COVID-19 symptoms that day.” 

The announcement Friday afternoon came a few hours after the House passed a $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, which was subsequently signed by President Donald Trump. While she couldn’t attend the voice vote on the bill, Pressley released a statement saying that it provides “some desperately needed aid ” to local workers and health centers. However, she also criticized it for not doing enough for those most vulnerable to the economic and health effects of the disease.

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“This bill provides short-term stop gap relief for workers, families and small businesses while providing massive bail outs to corporations and industry,” Pressley said. “The bill also goes out of the way to leave behind our immigrant neighbors in a time of crisis. Our work is far from over. As Congress moves to begin working on the next relief package, I will continue to fight to center the most vulnerable members of our community. No one should be left out or left behind.”

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