Alaska Rep. Don Young says he was hospitalized with COVID-19

Rep. Don Young in 2018
Rep. Don Young in 2018(KTUU)
Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 12:23 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska’s sole representative in the U.S. House announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. Since then, Rep. Don Young released a statement saying he was hospitalized with the virus over the weekend for treatment and monitoring.

“I have been discharged and continue recovering and working from home in Alaska,” Young said in a statement. “Very frankly, I had not felt this sick in a very long time, and I am grateful to everyone who has kept me in their thoughts and prayers.”

He continued to say that, while there has been much speculation about his condition, he is on the “road to recovery.”

COVID-19 cases have been surging, with a record high in daily cases reported over the weekend. Young addressed the surge, saying he wanted Alaskans to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on wearing a mask and being socially distant.

Young announced his COVID-19 diagnosis four days ago with a post on his official Twitter and Facebook accounts.

“I have tested positive for COVID-19. I am feeling strong, following proper protocols, working from home in Alaska, and ask for privacy at this time. May God Bless Alaska,” Young said in the tweet.

Young announced he had COVID-19 only one day after the Associated Press called the race for U.S. House in Young’s favor. This will be Young’s 25th term in office and he did it by defeating two-time challenger Alyse Galvin. He is the longest-serving member of the current congress and was elected to the seat in 1973 after a special election.

When COVID-19 cases were first reported in Alaska in March, Young faced some criticism for calling COVID-19 the “beer virus” to a group of seniors in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

On March 26, Young released a video message about COVID-19 where he said, “Weeks ago, I did not fully grasp the severity of this crisis, but clearly we are in the midst of an urgent public health emergency."

Young is 87 and part of an age demographic that is most at risk with COVID-19.

The same day Young announced he had COVID-19, Gov. Mike Dunleavy sent out a statewide SMS emergency alert warning Alaskans of escalating COVID-19 cases.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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