Rep. Velazquez has presumed COVID-19 infection, was near Pelosi, other lawmakers last week

Rep. Nydia Velazquez spoke on the House floor Friday and stood near Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the signing of the $2 trillion stimulus bill.
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Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., at the Capitol on Dec. 18, 2019.Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images file

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By Dareh Gregorian

Rep. Nydia Velazquez said Monday that she's been "diagnosed with presumed coronavirus infection," three days after she spoke on the House floor and stood near 80-year-old House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the signing of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill.

In a statement, Velazquez, D-N.Y., 67, said she first started feeling sick "in the wee hours of Sunday morning."

"I developed the abrupt onset of muscle aches, fevers, nasal congestion and stomach upset. I noticed that I could no longer smell my perfume or taste my food. After speaking with The Attending Physician by phone, I was diagnosed with presumed coronavirus infection," Velazquez said.

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"My symptoms are mild at the present time and I am taking Tylenol for fever, and isolating myself at my home. At the advice of The Attending Physician, neither COVID 19 laboratory testing nor a doctor's office visit was recommended. I am carefully monitoring my symptoms, working remotely and in constant contact with my staff."

Dozens of members of Congress had to rush back to Washington, D.C., on Friday to vote after Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., said he planned to try to force a recorded vote on the stimulus package, which required a quorum of at least 216 members to be in attendance.

His effort failed, and the bill ended up passing by a voice vote, anyway.

Velazquez tweeted Friday that was she was "back in DC as we prepare to pass the #coronavirus stimulus package."

"There are reports one GOP Member may delay this bill, but make no mistake, we WILL pass this bill for families, workers & small businesses," she said then.

A spokesman for Velazquez said she'd traveled to Washington on Thursday night and returned to New York on Friday.

Photos from the signing ceremony show her standing behind Pelosi, D-Calif., at the bill signing and later chatting in close quarters with Pelosi and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

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A spokesman for Pelosi, Drew Hammill, said she's "consulted with the Attending Physician who found her contact to be of low risk and recommended the Speaker take no particular action."

To date, five members of Congress have tested positive — Reps. Joe Cunningham, D-S.C.; Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla.; Mike Kelly, R-Pa.; and Ben McAdams, D-Utah, as well as Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.

Rebecca Shabad and Alex Moe contributed.