U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz has tested positive for coronavirus and U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz says he has antibodies as President Donald Trump‘s inner circle faces another outbreak of the infectious disease.
Waltz, a Republican from St. Augustine, announced Friday night that he had tested positive.
Gaetz, a Fort Walton Beach Republican, has told multiple people in Washington, D.C., that he has contracted the COVID-19 virus, POLITICO reported in its Saturday Playbook newsletter. But he soon took to Twitter to clarify that he had COVID-19 antibodies.
This story is false.
I have the antibodies, not the virus.
Politico DC is barely journalism. https://t.co/QuyeZooq7P
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) November 7, 2020
Both reports come after the President’s Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, tested positive. He traveled with Trump in the run-up to Election Day and last appeared in public early Wednesday morning without a mask as Trump falsely declared victory in the vote count.
One administration official said several other staffers had tested positive as well.
Both lawmakers are close allies of the President.
Gaetz told multiple people on Capitol Hill and in the White House that he had contracted the virus, according to POLITICO. The Representative did not immediately return Florida Politics’ request for comment.
Waltz’s office told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that he tested positive with a rapid test on Thursday and a lab test confirmed those results the following day. He is feeling normal and is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended 10-day quarantine.
Meadows’ diagnosis marked the latest case of the virus in the West Wing, coming not even two weeks after Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff, and other aides tests positive for the virus. Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and at least two dozen others tested positive for the virus in early October, after Trump held large gatherings of people not wearing face-masks, including the ceremony announcing the nomination of now-Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
Meadows had been one of the close aides around Trump when the President came down with the virus more than a month ago, but was tested daily and maintained his regular work schedule.