Florida Representative Buchanan Tests Positive for Covid-19

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Florida Representative Vern Buchanan says he has tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated earlier this year.

The top Republican on the Ways and Means subcommittee on trade said in a statement he was tested after experiencing flu-like symptoms and is now quarantining at his home.

“I look forward to returning to work as soon as possible,” Buchanan, 70, said in a statement. “In the meantime, this should serve as a reminder that although the vaccines provide a high-degree of protection, we must remain vigilant in the fight against COVID-19.”

Florida is one of several states where the infections from the virus have been surging.

Roughly 59% of the state’s eligible population have been vaccinated but those numbers are much lower for people under the age of 40, according to the Florida Department of Health. Cases, meanwhile, doubled between the weeks of July 2 and July 9.

Buchanan, a wealthy auto dealer, has represented his Sarasota-area Gulf Coast district since 2007. His statement did not indicate if he knew how he might have contracted the virus.

In recent weeks, lawmakers have been announcing more direct public appearances and town halls, and traveling more.

His announcement comes as more Republicans in recent months have taken part in the House’s current remote voting procedures, established by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, early in the pandemic. It’s being extended to Aug. 17 despite Republicans calls for it to be ended.

Pelosi has lifted a previous mask mandate on the House floor and in committees.

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