Ted Deutch missed SOTU after testing positive for COVID-19

This was the last State of the Union Deutch was to attend as a member of Congress.

Rep. Ted Deutch watched his last State of the Union as a U.S. Congressman on television.

The Boca Raton Democrat tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, forcing him to miss the speech.

“Today, I tested positive for COVID-19. I am glad to be vaccinated and boosted, and although I am experiencing mild symptoms, I am still able to work on behalf of my constituents,” Deutch tweeted.

Members of Congress were required to test to comply with protocols in place for attending President Joe Biden’s address to Congress. NPR reports Deutch was among six members of Congress who announced they had tested positive and thus did not attend. All were Democrats.

That said, Deutch’s message made clear he also was experiencing symptoms. It’s unclear if the address prompted the test, though Deutch said he had previously intended to be at the Capitol for the speech

“While I planned to travel to Washington for tonight’s State of the Union, I will remain home to protect the safety of my community and colleagues until I am fully recovered,” he posted.

Of note, several members of Congress chose not to attend the State of the Union this year in protest of the testing requirement. That included Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida’s senior Senator.

“They want you to take a test, wear a K-95 mask, and sit up in the gallery and go through a metal detector,” Rubio told Spicer & Co. ahead of the speech. “I’m done with all that theater stuff.”

For Deutch, the consequence means he missed the last State of the Union he was set to attend as a member of Congress. He announced this week he will not seek another term in the House so that he can accept a job as the new CEO for the American Jewish Committee. He‘s serving his seventh term in the House, and first won election in 2010.

To date, 10 members of Congress representing Florida have tested positive for COVID-19 at some point over the last two years. That includes Sen. Rick Scott and Reps. Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Mario Díaz-Balart, Deutch, Neal Dunn, María Elvira Salazar, Darren Soto, Michael Waltz and Daniel Webster.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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