Two Members of Congress Diagnosed

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March 18, 2020 10:01 p.m.

Two members of Congress have now been diagnosed with COVID-19: Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT). Both got sick soon after attending a vote on Saturday in which hundreds of members of the House mingled on the House floor.

Both of these law makers are relatively young, Diaz-Balart (58), McAdams (45). They will likely be okay. But given the advanced age of many members of Congress, especially in the Senate, there really needs to be some contingency planning for how Congress will operate in the coming weeks and weeks and months.

Needless to say Congress’s ability to function could be seriously hobbled at a critical moment if many members of Congress died or become significantly ill. But we don’t need to imagine such a bleak scenario. It seems entirely imaginable that substantial numbers could find themselves unable to attend critical votes in person because they are diagnosed with the illness and are under various kinds of quarantine, even if they’re not critically ill.

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