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Neal Dunn latest member of Florida congressional delegation to test positive for coronavirus

Dunn thought economy could reopen on Easter.

U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn is the second member of Florida’s congressional delegation to test positive for COVID-19.

The Republican from the Panhandle’s Second Congressional District, a surgeon by trade, was optimistic about the virus just weeks ago.

The March 25 edition of the Panama City Herald reported that Dunn said regarding coronavirus that his “feeling on the ground is it’s getting better already.”

Dunn wanted the economy opened by Easter, which now is universally accepted as an overly optimistic time frame.

However, the second-term Republican has more pressing concerns at the moment, including his own recovery from coronavirus.

He is the second Florida congressman to test positive, joining fellow Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart in a caucus no one wants to join.

Via WCTV, a confirmatory statement from Dunn’s office revealed the circumstances of his condition, which revealed itself recently.

“Congressman Neal Dunn, M.D., was not feeling well on the evening of Monday, April 6th and did go to the emergency room that night out of an abundance of caution. After meeting CDC criteria, he was tested for COVID-19 and has received notice that the results came back positive,” Dunn’s office said.

“Congressman Dunn is feeling great and currently quarantining himself at home per CDC guidelines and working on Phase IV of the Administration’s response to this pandemic. He expects a full recovery soon. He reminds everyone that it is important for us all to stay home unless they are an ‘essential employee’ or need essential items from stores or pharmacies,” Dunn said, presumably holding to the definitions of essential promulgated by the Governor’s Office already.

“Congressman Dunn emphasizes that we must continue to do what we can to target vulnerable places and populations to slow the spread of this disease. He is keenly interested in new and faster testing to help everyone understand their risks. While America continues to suffer from some sad areas of ‘hot spots’, our current actions are mitigating the worst of this disease and America will rebound in the near future,” Dunn’s office promised.

Indeed, “sad areas of ‘hot spots'” remain gloomy indeed.

As Florida Politics reported Thursday, health officials confirmed 31 new deaths as the state’s death toll reached 354 Thursday morning.

Cases are up to 16,364, from Wednesday’s 15,698. Of the updated total, 2,149 have hospitalized with COVID-19, up 67 overnight.

South Florida remains the largest hot spot of the disease in the state. More than half of the state’s coronavirus cases are in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Florida’s issues, meanwhile, pale to those in New York, where it is an open question whether the hard-hit city and state have the resources to deal with mounting waves of cases and casualties.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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