COVID-19 'hit me like a ton of bricks': Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart in first interview since diagnosis

Alicia Victoria Lozano

U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., one of two congressmen to test positive for COVID-19, said Saturday he his finally feeling better after nearly a week but confessed the initial symptoms hit him "like a ton of bricks."

In his first interview since testing positive for COVD-19, Diaz-Balart told his brother, NBC anchor Jose Diaz-Balart, that the worst had passed.

"It's a tricky bug because just when I thought I was over it or I was pretty close to getting over it, the fever will come back," he said on NBC Nightly News. "But again, not as bad as it was originally, and I think hopefully the worst is passed."

He revealed his diagnosis on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Diaz-Balart said he decided to self-quarantine on March 13 after voting on the Families First Coronavirus Act. He woke up feeling fine Saturday morning, but developed a "splitting headache" by the evening followed by a fever.

He chose to self-quarantine in Washington instead of returning to Florida because of his wife's pre-existing condition, he said in a statement.

Jose Diaz-Balart asked his brother if Congress should vote remotely given that many members are over 65 years old and some have pre-existing conditions.

"We clearly have to figure out a way to do this during this very special moment," the congressman said. "However, there are some constitutional questions that have to be answered. The last thing we need to happen is we go through this ... very important package and all of a sudden there's some very important legal challenge."