Gaetz tests positive for coronavirus antibodies

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Two more Florida Republican members of Congress have tested positive for Covid-19, including Rep. Matt Gaetz.

Gaetz, a close ally of President Donald Trump, said he tested positive for the virus antibodies on Election Day, a likely sign he previously contracted the virus.

“I have tested positive for antibodies,” Gaetz told POLITICO in a text message. “I have no live virus.”

He said he has no symptoms, and is not sure when he contracted the virus. Playbook first reported that Gaetz had tested positive.

He was a staple on the campaign trail for the president, including attending several in-person Florida rallies.

Gaetz has long been one of Trump’s most vocal congressional defenders, a role that has continued as mail and provisional ballots cut into and overtook Trump’s lead in several key battleground states after Election Day. In the days after the election, Gaetz has made several baseless voter fraud allegations.

Gaetz is the most recent person in Trump’s inner circle to contract the virus. News broke Friday night that White House chief of staff Mark Meadows also contracted the virus. Like Gaetz, it’s unclear when Meadows contracted the illness.

In addition, Florida Republican Rep. Michael Waltz confirmed Friday night he tested positive for the virus, signalling a current infection — rather than antibodies that would suggest he had already recovered from Covid-19.

A Waltz spokeswoman said that he believes he caught it in his district, which is just south of Jacksonville, and that he is experiencing no symptoms. He is currently in a 10-day quarantine.

“I’ve purposefully tested every week, have now isolated, and reached out to people for notifications,” Waltz said in a statement. “We are fortunate all of my staff or family are fine. I encourage everyone to take appropriate precautions, particularly those in higher risk categories. I will absolutely continue to serve my district and am so very honored with the trust Floridians placed in me Nov 3rd.”

Gaetz and Waltz are the third and fourth members of the Florida congressional delegation to test positive. Others include Republicans Neal Dunn and Mario Diaz-Balart.

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