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How The All-Democratic Mass. Congressional Delegation Is Reacting To Trump's Coronavirus Diagnosis

President Trump hands to Sen. Ed Markey the pen he used in signing into law Markey's bipartisan INTERDICT Act in 2018. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
President Trump hands to Sen. Ed Markey the pen he used in signing into law Markey's bipartisan INTERDICT Act in 2018. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

The 11 Democrats who represent Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives include some of President Trump's harshest critics. But several members of the delegation promptly wished the president well Friday, after he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus.

The collective message is that the Trumps' diagnoses demonstrate the contagiousness of a virus that has killed more than 200,000 Americans.

"My thoughts are with the President and the First Lady, as everyone hopes for their speedy recovery," Sen. Ed Markey said in a statement. "The virus is still with us, and today's development makes it clear that we need to remain vigilant and continue doing all the public health measures we've been talking about — wear a mask, wash hands, and keep social distance."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren said in a statement that "today's news should serve as a reminder that listening to scientists, wearing a mask, washing hands and social distancing are our best tools to fight this horrific disease."

Warren faulted Trump for "undermining the work of our doctors and scientists" and noted that the coronavirus has disproportionately harmed people of color.

"This is another stark reminder that no one is immune from #COVID19," Rep. Lori Trahan tweeted. In an email, she added, "It is a good thing for the nation that the President and First Lady are reportedly experiencing only minor symptoms and in good spirits. It's my hope that they are on track for a quick recovery. In the meantime, it is imperative that the White House regularly brief Congress and the American people on the President's condition."

Rep. Katherine Clark said in an interview that she wishes the Trumps "a full and speedy recovery." She also said, "We cannot ignore the fact that Donald Trump has been irresponsible."

Clark said she hopes the president's personal experience with the coronavirus will move him and Senate Republicans to support the $2.2 trillion relief package that House Democrats passed on Thursday.

Rep. Jim McGovern tweeted an exhortation: "Please, please, please wear a mask, keep your distance & stay safe America."

Rep. Joe Kennedy used more colorful language to say the same: "I wish the President and everyone around him a fast recovery. Wear a god damn mask."

Rep. Ayanna Pressley said in a statement that "COVID-19 is a brutal disease. Thousands of Americans have been deeply impacted by this virus. Thousands more have lost their lives. It didn’t have to be this way."

She continued: "My heart is with every family gripped by the fear, uncertainty and grief of this pandemic and the failed White House response. I certainly hope the Trump family and White House staff make a full recovery. Every day, I'm fighting for critical legislation and funding to support the teachers, healthcare workers, janitors, and grocery store workers, and other essential workers on the front lines in my district. Every family deserves access to health care and relief in the midst of this crisis."

Trump has often appeared in public unmasked and, in Tuesday's debate, mocked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for being vigilant about facial coverings.

"I don’t wear masks like him," Trump said. "Every time you see him, he's got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from me, and he shows up with the biggest mask I've ever seen."

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters Friday that the president, who is 74 years old, has "mild symptoms," but did not elaborate.

The first lady tweeted thanks to well-wishers Friday morning, adding that she has "mild symptoms" but was "overall feeling good" and "looking forward to a speedy recovery."

This article was originally published on October 02, 2020.

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Callum Borchers Twitter Reporter
Callum covers the Greater Boston business community for Bostonomix.

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