Rep. Fleischmann: COVID-19 diagnosis will not impact potential impeachment vote

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Congressman Chuck Fleischmann is isolated in Washington D.C. after testing positive for COVID-19. But the recent diagnosis, he says, will not impact a potential vote on whether to impeach the president later this week.

The congressman announced he’s battling the coronavirus after coming into contact with his infected roommate. On Monday evening, he said he’s feeling better than he did the day prior.

Just before his interview with WATE 6 On Your Side reporter Elizabeth Kuebel, Fleischmann said he found out he will still be able to cast votes this week.

“My big fear had been, up to about 10 minutes ago, that I would not have been able to cast my votes due to the COVID situation,” Congressman Fleischmann said.

One day now after his positive test, the Tennessee representative says he does have symptoms.

“Fortunately the respiratory tightness and gasping is gone. I have some aches and pains, similar to flu-like symptoms, some mild coughing and some congestion,” he said.

Still, Fleischmann is looking ahead to the rest of the week, saying he’s now learned his diagnosis won’t get in the way of casting votes.

“We’ve been told by GOP leadership that they will allow us to vote by proxy, and I will be able to cast my vote for the people I represent in the third district,” he said.

It comes as House Democrats filed an article of impeachment against President Trump for “incitement of insurrection” following the attack on Capitol Hill last week.

Fleischmann is eyeing that vote, and another one on the schedule.

“A resolution asking Vice President Pence to take over, and I will be a no vote on that. That vote is set for 7:30 tomorrow night. And then on Wednesday there will be a vote on impeachment, on which I will also be a no vote,” he said.

In the meantime, he’s also sharing a message about COVID-19, as he continues to battle the virus.

Fleischmann said, “If someone thinks that they have symptoms, get tested and then follow your doctor’s orders.”

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