U.S. Sen. Bob Casey said Friday that he tested positive for the COVID-19 antibody after experiencing mild symptoms “earlier this spring,” and plans to donate plasma to help those recovering from more severe reactions.
In a statement, Casey, D-Scranton, said he had “a low-grade fever and some mild flu-like symptoms” for several days. He called his doctor, who recommended that Casey self-quarantine at home for 14 days.
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Casey said he did not seek additional medical care because his symptoms were “relatively mild and manageable,” and his fever dissipated in mid-April. There was no recommendation that he be tested for COVID-19, Casey said.
“I was able to work during my illness, remotely engaging with constituents and staff, and keeping a full schedule,” he said.
Casey said he spoke with the Capitol’s attending physician last week and underwent a COVID-19 ELISA IgG Antibody Test, which came back positive.
“The results of this test revealed substantial levels of COVID-19 antibody in my blood, significantly more than the amount required to qualify me as a plasma donor,” said Casey.
Casey said he would be making a “first donation” of plasma on Friday in Lackawanna County, and he encouraged others who have recovered from the virus to see if they are eligible to donate.
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“I will continue to follow the guidance of public health experts by wearing a mask in public and observing social distancing practices,” Casey said, “and I hope that others will do the same to help slow the spread of the virus.”
U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Butler, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in late March and was recovered by mid-April.
Casey’s admission also comes amid the ongoing controversy surrounding state Rep. Andrew Lewis, R-Dauphin County, who announced on Wednesday that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
House Democrats were furious that they were not told about Lewis’ diagnosis, which occurred on May 20, and they accused GOP leadership of a cover-up. However, some Republicans, including state Reps. Josh Kail, R-15, Beaver, and Jim Marshall, R-14, Big Beaver, said they were unaware of Lewis’ condition until Wednesday, too.