Florida Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart has tested positive for the Wuhan flu, according to a statement he released on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. The Republican is the first congressman to test positive for the disease.
Diaz-Balart claimed that he began feeling the symptoms of the virus on Saturday which included “a fever and headache,” according to the statement his office published. He was informed that he had tested positive for the Wuhan virus on Wednesday.
“I want everyone to know that I am feeling much better,” the elected official said in the statement. “However, it is important that everyone take this extremely seriously and follow CDC guidelines in order to avoid getting sick and mitigate the spread of this virus. We must continue to work together to emerge stronger as a country during these trying times.”
The House is currently in recess with members going back to their districts, while the Senate has continued working despite the national recommendation that people not congregate in groups of more than 10 people. The House will return soon, however, as both chambers of government work on legislation to tackle the Wuhan virus.
Although Diaz-Balart is the first member of Congress to be infected with the virus, a few others have self-quarantined a few days after contacting someone who has tested positive. This includes Senator Ted Cruz and Congressmen Matt Gaetz and Doug Collins, who all pursued similar action after interacting with a person last month at the Conservative Political Action Conference who was diagnosed with the virus. Furthermore, Gaetz and Collins met with President Donald Trump after the conference.
Cruz prolonged his initial self-quarantine after he discovered that he had met with a second person who caught the virus. He ended his quarantine on Tuesday.
It should be noted that Diaz-Balart is not the first major Florida politician to test positive for the virus. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said last week that he had caught the Wuhan flu after meeting with Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro.
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Greg Abbott Signs Executive Order Keeping Violent Criminals from Going Back on the Streets During the Wuhan Crisis
After the Wuhan Virus was confirmed in several Texas jails in the last week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order on March 29, 2020 that makes it more difficult for several inmates to be let out on “no-cost, personal recognizance bonds.”
Abbott tweeted, “Today I issued an Executive Order preventing [email protected] of dangerous criminals from prisons & jails. We want to prevent the spread of #COVID19 among prison staff & inmates. But, releasing dangerous criminals in the streets is not the solution. #txlege #coronavirus”
Today I issued an Executive Order preventing [email protected] of dangerous criminals from prisons & jails.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 30, 2020
Several cases of the Wuhan Virus were discovered in the Dallas County Jail and Harris County Jail last week, two of the state’s largest jails. In addition, a handful of cases were confirmed in state prisons. According to NBC DFW, the virus’ outbreak was “followed by demands to reduce the inmate populations by releasing, immediately and without bond or judicial delay, those held on misdemeanor crimes or awaiting trial on misdemeanor crimes. Some also called for non-violent felons to also be released on no-cost bonds.”
Abbott said Sunday that “releasing dangerous criminals makes the state even less safe” and issued a proclamation to prevent judges, and others, from releasing some inmates without a paid, cash bond.
In his executive order, Abbott declared that a person convicted of a crime that involved or threatened physical violence, or a person arrested for such a crime backed by probable cause, or a person with a criminal history of violent crime, cannot get out of jail on a no-cost personal recognizance bond.
With a PR bond, a defendant is released without having to post any money for his or her bond on the promise they’ll show up to their next court date.
Instead of virtue signaling and buying into the criminal justice reform movement’s desire to foment anarcho-tyranny, Abbott has held his ground by promoting public order.
A crisis like the Wuhan Virus pandemic does not need to be exacerbated by opening up the prison floodgates.
This is one case where American policymakers should use logic not emotion to craft prison policies in times of a pandemic.
Failure to do so will put the U.S. on the road to institutional failure.
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