California Rep. Devin Nunes says he tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies

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Sonam Sheth
·3 min read
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Devin Nunes
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, pauses at the end of testimony by witnesses Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, and National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
  • Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California told a local radio station on Friday that he had tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies.

  • Nunes' announcement comes after he spent months downplaying the severity of the virus and urging the public to ignore health officials' guidance on social distancing and eating out.

  • The US currently has the highest number of cases of any country in the world, with more than 15 million confirmed cases and over 293,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

  • Congress, meanwhile, has repeatedly failed to pass a stimulus bill to prop up the economy as Democrats and Republicans continue butting heads over the size and scope of federal aid.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California told the local radio station KMJNOW on Friday that he had tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies.

Including Nunes, 11 senators and 35 House members have tested positive for the virus or for its antibodies since the start of the pandemic, according to CNN.

The US currently has the highest number of cases of any country in the world, with more than 15 million confirmed cases and over 293,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Nunes' announcement came after the lawmaker spent months downplaying the severity of the pandemic and once suggested officials should "stop looking at the death counters" and "talk about how we can keep as many people employed as possible."

"When you have people staying at home, not taking care of themselves, you will have a hell of a lot more people dying by other causes than you will the coronavirus," he told Fox News' Laura Ingraham in April.

Nunes is the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee and has frequently been seen in public and at the US Capitol without a mask. He also urged the public in May to ignore health officials' guidance on social distancing and dining out.

"If you're healthy, you and your family, it's a great time to go out and go to a local restaurant, likely you can get in easily," he said on Fox News. "Let's not hurt the working people in this country ... go to your local pub."

The US is currently going through what officials expect will be the worst surge of the virus since it first hit the country earlier this year. The new wave of outbreaks has overwhelmed hospitals and frontline workers across the country and strained small businesses who were already struggling to stay afloat amid dismal economic conditions.

Congress, meanwhile, has repeatedly failed to pass a stimulus bill to prop up the economy as Democrats and Republicans continue butting heads over the size and scope of federal aid.

And as Business Insider reported, if the relief talks drag on for several more weeks, some federal programs providing unemployment assistance could expire and raise the possibility of financial ruin for about 12 million people.

Correction: An initial version of this story stated that Rep. Devin Nunes had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. In fact, he told the local radio station KMJ that he tested positive for antibodies.

Read the original article on Business Insider