COVID-19 has infected hundreds of candidates, incumbents, federal officials and members of the media in the U.S. since coronavirus began its rampage in 2020.
The most notable candidate was the late Herman Cain, a presidential candidate and businessman. He tested positive for COVID-19 on July 2, 2020, and he was hospitalized that day. Cain died 28 days later form complications brought about by coronavirus.
By Oct. of 2020, COVID-19 reached the White House when Hope Hicks tested positive on Oct. 1. First Lady Malania Trump tested positive on Oct. 2 as did Bill Stepien, President Donald J. Trump’s campaign manager. Also, Ronna Romney McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) tested positive on Oct. 2.
After testing positive himself, President Trump was hospitalized at Walter Reed Military Medical Center where he was treated for three days and released.
Other Trump allies who tested positive to COVID-19 in early Oct. were Chris Christie, Oct. 3; Kayleigh McEnany, Oct. 5; and Stephen Miller, Oct. 6.
Earlier in 2020, CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin tested positive to the coronavirus on April 3, George Stephanopoulus, ABC news anchor; became infected with the virus on April 13 and Kimberly Gailfoyle, Fox News co-host and official in the Trump campaign, tested positive to COVID-19 on July 3.
On Dec. 29, 2020, Luke Letlow, U.S. House of Representatives member from Louisiana’s 5th District died of what was listed as complications related to COVID-19.
More than federal officials and members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives became infected with COVID-19, and with COVID-19 continuing in 2021 with both delta and omicron variants contributing take their toll, a new record of infections had occurred by the first week of 2022.
To make matters worse, many who had become fully vaccinated as a method of prevention became infected with the virus. On Dec. 8, 2021, Brett Guthrie, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from District 2 in Ky., tested positive. He had been fully vaccinated.
With omicron replacing delta as the most infectious variant in Dec., Matt Cartwright, member of the U.S. House from District 8 in Pa., tested positive on Dec. 19.
Despite being fully vaccinated, Jason Crow, member of the U.S. House representing Colo. District 6, tested positive on Dec. 19 as well.
COVID-19 has no political preference, and two U.S. Senators also tested positive on Dec. 19. Elizabeth Warren of Mass. had been fully vaccinated, and Cory Booker of N. J. had been vaccinated as well. Both reported they had tested positive.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan reported that he had tested positive on Dec. 20, and he too had been fully vaccinated.
Nicole Malliotakis, U.S. House representative from District 11 in N.Y., tested positive on Dec. 21 as did Barbara Lee, a member of the U.S. House representing the people of District 13 in Calif. Both had been fully vaccinated.
James Clyburn, representing the people of District 6 in S.C., tested positive on Dec. 22 as did Antonio Delgado, U.S. House representative of the citizens of District 19 in N.Y. Both had been fully vaccinated.
Chris Coons, U.S. Senator from Del., tested positive on Dec. 23, and he too had been fully vaccinated.
Kaiali’I Kahele, representative from District 2 in Hawaii to the U.S. House, tested positive the day after Christmas. She too had been fully vaccinated.
Gwen Moore, representative to the U.S. House from District 4 in Wis., tested positive on Dec. 27 along with Bobby Rush, a member of the U.S. House who represents District 1 in Ill. They too both had been fully vaccinated.
Doris Matsnius, representative of District 6 in Calif. to the U.S. House, was fully vaccinated when she tested positive on Dec. 30. Also, Bill Pascrell, representative to the U.S. House from District 9 in N.J., tested positive on the same day. He was fully vaccinated.
The last member of the U.S. House of Representatives to test positive in 2021 was Ayanna Pressley who represents the people of District 7 in N.J. She too had been fully vaccinated.
In addition to Letlow’s death, two other federal officials have died from COVID-19 complications. Stephen F. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit passed away on Aug. 27, 2020, and Ronald Wright, member of the U.S. House representing District 6 in Texas, died on Feb. 7, 2021.
Ray Allen is the Editor of the Virginian Review. Mr Allen received his A.B. degree in English and physical education (1963) and M.A. degree in secondary education (1965) from Morehead State University before earning his M.F.A. degree in theatre arts from UCLA (1980) where he majored in writing for motion pictures and television. He retired as an educator in 2004, having taught 11 subjects and having coached five varsity sports during his 41-year-career that led him to teach and coach in Ky., Mich., Calif. and Va.