Oct. 16, 2020 by David Silverberg
5:50 pm – added comments from Cindy Banyai, corrected date in caption.
Republican congressional candidate Byron Donalds, a fierce opponent of mask mandates who has spoken out against them and ostentatiously refused to wear a mask in public, has tested positive for COVID-19, he announced on his Facebook page today.
Donalds is running in Florida’s 19th Congressional District against Democrat Cindy Banyai.
“Before today’s event with the President, I was give [sic] a COVID-19 quick test, per White House staff protocol, and results were positive,” he wrote. “I proceeded to take a PCR antigen test, and those results have come back positive as well. My wife and oldest son were both tested today and their results are negative. I currently feel fine, but am taking all necessary precautions and will be quarantining at home. We have notified the organizers of the events I have attended in recent days. I look forward to recovering fully and earning the support of voters on November 3rd.”
Donalds was to have attended President Donald Trump’s event in Fort Myers today.
Donalds has repeatedly denigrated mask mandates in debates with Banyai and argued that local governments do not have the authority to impose them. He spoke against them when the Cape Coral City Council and Collier County Commission considered them. After he met unmasked with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on Sept. 23, Banyai called on him to quarantine, which he said he didn’t have to do because he had tested negative.
On her Twitter feed, Banyai wished Donalds well: “I wish him and his family well as he recovers,” she tweeted. In another tweet she stated: “This reaffirms that I made the right decision for myself, my family, and #OurCommunity to cancel my participation in the Estero debate last week. That debate was directly after a MAGA event in Collier that may very well become our very own #SWFL super-spreader event.” And she added: “Please, for your health and for the vulnerable in #OurCommunity, continue to social distance, wear masks, and sanitize hands. We care about you.”
This report will be updated as new information becomes available.
Liberty lives in light
©2020 by David Silverberg