Jahana Hayes: COVID-19 ‘has hit home,’ husband tests positive for coronavirus

Rep. Jahana Hayes, D-Conn., is the latest member of Congress to share a personal story about a family member affected by the new coronavirus.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Rep. Jahana Hayes, D-Conn., is the latest member of Congress to share a personal story about a family member affected by the new coronavirus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted April 30, 2020 at 9:58am

The husband of Rep. Jahana Hayes has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the congresswoman.

The Democrat’s husband, a first responder in Waterbury, Connecticut, tested positive, though “at this time he seems to be healthy and asymptomatic,” she said in a statement.

Though Hayes said she tested negative for the coronavirus, “out of an abundance of caution” she and her family will be quarantining at home for 14 days, in keeping with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I will continue working remotely, talking with constituents and community leaders, and communicating daily with colleagues as we work on the next relief package to combat the health and economic crisis that our country is in,” she said.

Hayes said her husband’s diagnosis highlights the particular danger facing frontline workers such as grocery store employees and first responders, and is calling for more workplace protections, higher wages and more benefits. Milford Hayes is a police detective.

As Congress continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, more lawmakers are coming forward with stories about how the virus is affecting their own families.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren recently announced that her brother had succumbed to the disease. That same day, Rep. Maxine Waters said during a floor speech that her sister had been hospitalized. 

“I’m going to take a moment to dedicate this legislation to my dear sister who is dying in a hospital in St. Louis, Missouri right now, infected by the coronavirus,” Waters said ahead of a vote on a $484 billion aid package.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s husband, John Besser, battled COVID-19 last month. “I love my husband so very much and not being able to be there at the hospital by his side is one of the hardest things about this disease,” the Democrat from Minnesota said in a statement at the time. Besser has since recovered.

Hayes urged people to continue following CDC social distancing guidelines and state-mandated stay-at-home orders. “I pray for the safety of you and your families.”

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