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Coronavirus Survivor Rep. Ben McAdams Recounts His Struggle on Webcast With Utah’s Silicon Slopes

David Jelke

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Screenshot of Rep. Ben McAdams

April 14, 2020— Recovered coronavirus patient Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah., recounted his experience overcoming COVID-19 and gave his thoughts on the nation’s struggling economy on a Silicon Slopes webinar on Monday

On the evening of March 14, McAdams said he “felt a little bit off, run-down.” His temperature shot up 102 degrees. He said he “felt it move into [his] lungs” and found it progressively harder to breath.

He reported not being able to “stand up to walk across the room” without having to lean against the dresser.

So McAdams took a drive-through test and later received results that he had tested positive.

“It was the sickest I’ve ever been, I’ve never been in a hospital before as a patient,” McAdams said. McAdams revealed that he received the voicemail alerting him that he had tested positive immediately after he had finished speaking at the previous Silicon Slopes conference.

“I felt like I need to come back to Silicon Slopes healthy for closure,” the congressman joked.

McAdams also used the moment to reflect on the state of the economy. He brought attention to the non-emergency aspects of the healthcare industry, saying they have been “decimated.” “If you’re a dentist, you don’t just go out and treat coronavirus patients. You’re out of work.”

He also stressed the importance of the Paycheck Protection Program in keeping small businesses in Utah alive, comparing the program to a “ventilator.”

However, he also allowed for an optimistic prognosis, asserting that “Utah’s economy isn’t fundamentally broken.” He also reminded viewers that their Trump emergency checks “should be showing up [their] bank account this week.”

Lastly, the congressman criticized politicians and cautioned against a hasty reopening of the economy.

He called the acrimony between Republicans and Democrats in Washington “political posturing” and “a game of chicken.” He also insisted that “we cannot open up in an irresponsible way.”

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