Alaska Rep. Young returns to work after coronavirus recovery

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — U.S. Rep. Don Young of Alaska has returned to work after recovering from COVID-19, his office said.

Young's staff said the veteran Republican lawmaker was back at work in his congressional office in Washington, D.C., The Anchorage Daily News reported Wednesday.

The 87-year-old announced Nov. 12 he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

In March, Young referred to the coronavirus as the “beer virus” before an audience that included older Alaskans and said the media had contributed to hysteria over COVID-19. His campaign manager told the Anchorage Daily News at the time that the virus’ impact is real and that Young was trying to urge calm.

After contracting the virus, Young said he had not grasped the severity of the illness.

“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,” Young said following his release from an Anchorage hospital Nov. 16.

Young is now “preparing to fight harder than ever” for Alaskans, spokesman Zack Brown said.

Voters last month reelected Young, Alaska’s lone U.S. representative, to serve his 25th term in office.

Young has held his seat since 1973 and is the longest-serving Republican in congressional history.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

The Associated Press