Florida attorney general Moody tests positive for COVID-19
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s attorney general, Ashley Moody, tweeted Wednesday that she has tested positive for COVID-19.
“Thankfully, I am only experiencing mild symptoms and my family is in good health,” Moody tweeted. “As I continue to self-quarantine, I want to encourage Floridians to be vigilant about their health.”
The 46-year-old Republican said she had been vaccinated for the virus earlier this year.
According to the Miami Herald, the news of Moody’s diagnosis comes just four days after she flew on the state plane with Gov. Ron DeSantis and Senate President Wilton Simpson to the U.S.-Mexico border in Del Rio, Texas, for a news conference with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
At the news conference, which was in an open-air airport hangar, Moody also came in close contact with dozens of state law enforcement officers.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen, Florida Highway Patrol Colonel Gene Spaulding, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Colonel Brian Smith and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton were also at the news conference and interacted with Moody.
DeSantis’ office did not respond to a text message and email seeking comment late Wednesday on whether the Republican governor, who received a vaccine earlier this year, would get tested for COVID-19 or take any precautions after coming in close contact with Moody over the weekend, the Herald reported.
Moody’s positive coronavirus test is the second high-profile infection reported among vaccinated Florida elected officials this week.
U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan said Monday he tested positive for the COVID-19 virus even though he was fully vaccinated against the disease.
The Republican congressman’s announcement came as DeSantis said earlier this week that a “seasonal pattern” affecting mainly Sun Belt states is largely to blame for a recent spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the state.
DeSantis, who opposes virus-related mandates, nonetheless said it’s important for people to get vaccinated.
“If you’re vaccinated and you test positive but you don’t get sick, well the name of the game is to keep people out of the hospital,” DeSantis said. “Seventy-five percent of Floridians over the age of 50 have gotten shots, so we think that’s really, really positive.”
Buchanan, who represents a Sarasota-based district, said in a news release he got the test recently after experiencing “very mild flu-like symptoms.” The congressman said he is quarantining at home.
The congressman’s announcement comes amid a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Florida and around the country. One statistic released by the White House estimated that 20% of new cases last week occurred in Florida.
Jackson Health Systems, the largest health provider in Florida, announced Monday it has seen a 111% increase in COVID-19 patients since July 6. Nearly all patients being treated by Jackson are unvaccinated. Jackson elevated its virus threat level to “high” and said it would end visitation hours for many patients beginning Wednesday.
DeSantis told reporters after appearing at an unrelated environmental event Monday that the increase was expected in Florida in mid-summer and has insisted the state will impose no more virus-related lockdowns or mandates.