Just a few weeks after announcing a positive outlook for his colon cancer diagnosis, Rep. Donald Payne has been flown on a medical transport plane from D.C. to New Jersey.
The Star-Ledger first reported the development about the New Jersey Democrat this morning.
Payne, 77, said last month that he still planned to run for re-election despite his condition and that he did not plan to take a leave of absence during treatment.
“[My doctors] expect my full recovery, as do I,” Payne said in a statement at the time. “I look forward to continuing to serve as a Member of Congress for many years to come.”
Payne’s son, Newark City Council President Donald Payne Jr., was unsure of his father’s condition when quoted by the Star-Ledger earlier today.
“We’re still a bit optimistic, but I mean, you know, it is what it is. It’s cancer,” he said.
First elected to Congress in 1988, the elder Payne has served as a chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and focused many of his legislative efforts on the AIDS epidemic in the United States and abroad.
He serves on the Education and Workforce Committee, and in the 111th Congress, he guided legislation to provide financial relief to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.