State Rep. Tom Dent, who is up for reelection, has COVID-19, he told NewsTalk-KIT Radio on Monday.
The Moses Lake Republican broke the news to show hosts Dave Ettl and Lance Tormey.
“I got this little, uh, little virus thing going on,” he said. “They call it COVID. I don’t recommend it. You will not like it.”
Dent, who coughed several times during the interview, went on to talk about his symptoms, saying he’s learned that the disease affects everyone differently.
“So far I think I’ve gone through every symptom anybody’s talked about,” he said. “And, you know, it’s crazy. It started out pretty benign in the beginning and then kind of started to go away and came back a little stronger. It’s played this game now, today will be day 15.”
Dent, 70, who is facing a challenge from Quincy Democrat Eduardo Castañeda Diaz, said he was recovering at home. Dent did not respond to several voicemails and emails from the Yakima Herald-Republic seeking comment on his health status over the past week.
Castañeda Diaz emailed the paper a copy of a letter he’d written Dent late Friday, asking the representative to address the matter.
“I would hope Dent did the responsible thing and halted all interaction with constituents the moment he realized he was infected,” Castañeda Diaz wrote. “Because it’s one thing to be irresponsible with your health during this pandemic, and beyond negligent and dangerous to be irresponsible for the health of those you seek to represent.”
Near the end of Dent’s radio interview Monday, Ettl jokingly asked him whether his doctors could get some of “that supermedicine” from President Donald Trump.
“I asked them if maybe they could touch base with the president and give me some of that stuff that he had,” Dent replied. “So far I’m still waiting. ... I know that I sound worse than I am.”
District 13 includes Kittitas, Grant, Lincoln and part of Yakima counties.