OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska said Thursday that he believes he had COVID-19 late last year, developing coronavirus symptoms and prompting him to wait at least three months to get vaccinated.
Bacon said in a statement that he was exposed to an infected person and experienced symptoms, but never got tested. He said he’s expected to get a vaccine shot on Friday, and encouraged others to get one as well.
“I got COVID in late 2020 and it was hard on my lungs,” the three-term Republican congressman said in the statement. “Several of my friends have died from COVID. The vaccine will save lives and heartbreak.”
Bacon’s congressional office reported on Dec. 2 that he had been exposed to the COVID-19 virus over the week of Thanksgiving and had gone into quarantine to comply with federal guidelines. The statement said he had been cleared to return to Washington on Dec. 4 if Congress scheduled any votes that weekend.
Bacon spokeswoman Danielle Jensen said the congressman did not get tested because his symptoms at the time were “very light,” and he opted to go straight into quarantine. Jensen said Bacon is still seeing a doctor to treat residual symptoms, including mucus in his throat, but it’s not certain those issues are tied to the coronavirus.
Bacon, 57, represents Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, a politically diverse area that includes Omaha and parts of several suburbs.
By holding off on the vaccine until Friday, Bacon is following the advice of some medical experts who recommend waiting at least 90 days after an infection to minimize potential side effects. Other experts have said it’s OK for people to get a shot as long as they’re no longer positive.
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