As with all other things these days, it started with a tweet. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced on social media that she has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. But she also insists that at least thus far, she has no symptoms.
COVID-19 has literally hit home. I have had NO symptoms and have tested positive.
— Keisha Lance Bottoms (@KeishaBottoms) July 6, 2020
Her office quickly sent out additional details, but there really wasn’t much to say. She took the test. It came back positive. Both she and her husband apparently have it, but say that they only experienced symptoms typical of seasonal allergies. Now she has to go into self-quarantine. (NBC News)
Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a tweet on Monday that she tested positive for coronavirus, despite being asymptomatic…
Fulton County, where Atlanta is located, has seen nearly 9,000 coronavirus cases, according to the Georgia Department of Health.
Bottoms, a rising star in the Democratic Party, has recently been catapulted into the national spotlight as the nation’s racial reckoning ignited by the killing of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody has also hit Atlanta.
No one should be gloating over this because the virus is a serious threat to anyone, though some are more at risk than others. Mayor Lance Bottoms is fifty years old, putting her below the highest-risk groups in terms of age, and she appears to be otherwise in generally good health. Hopefully, she will be spared the worst or most debilitating outcomes that others have experienced.
With that said, particularly in light of all the lectures we’ve heard about how elected officials are supposed to lead by example, it’s not unfair to ask how and where the Mayor contracted the disease. When asked that question by the press, she said she has “no idea” when or where she was exposed. (CBS News)
Bottoms, in an appearance on MSNBC, said the positive test result was a “shock” and she only decided to get tested because her husband had been sleeping more than usual.
“It leaves me for a loss of words because I think it really speaks to how contagious this virus is. We’ve taken all the precautions that you can possibly take. I have no idea when and where we were exposed,” she said.
As we’ve debated here in the past, that’s one of the big problems with tracing this bug. How can you be sure precisely where, when and from whom you were exposed? For people like myself, I so rarely venture off my property (particularly these days) that I could probably make a pretty good guess. I’ve been counting the days since I went on a charter fishing trip at the beginning of my recent vacation. Thankfully it’s been almost two weeks and no symptoms have shown up. (Fingers crossed!)
It’s probably not so easy to say the same for Mayor Lance Bottoms though, is it? She has cameras following her around constantly and she seems to get out quite a bit. You can look at this press conference from Sunday and watch a video of her addressing the media without wearing a mask, despite being in close proximity to others who are wearing masks. There’s a good photo of her here, announcing a curfew on May 30th. Lance Bottoms is once again sans mask while surrounded by others at close quarters, only some of whom are wearing masks.
In this video, shot on June 4th (long after the social distancing orders were in place), you can see the Mayor addressing the masses through a bullhorn. She’s shoulder to shoulder with the media and the crowds and this took place after she marched through the streets with the protesters. Again, there is no mask in sight, at least for the mayor.
Of course, we would be remiss in not noting that this is the same Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms who went on camera with the local press only five days ago to issue a statement about how wearing a mask is “the most unselfish thing you can do.” She went on to say that masks “not only protect yourself, but the people around you.” Careful observers will note that this public service announcement was also made when she was not wearing a mask herself.
So with all of that activity, it’s hard to say when or where the Mayor and her husband contracted the bug. Here’s hoping that she has a speedy recovery.