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SWFL officials who contracted COVID-19 wish president, first lady speedy recoveries

The recovery from the coronavirus isn’t always a smooth one.

The whole country is watching the White House, as the president and first lady look to get through it after testing positive for COVID-19 during early morning hours Friday.

We spoke to Commissioner Brian Hamman, the chair for Lee County Board of County Commissioner’s, and Fort Myers Councilman Kevin Anderson, who both know what recovery from COVID-19 can be like.

Hamman said he knows how hard it is to tell the people who you’re helping to lead through a pandemic you have the virus. He hopes everyone watching can find a way to put their differences aside and pray for the president to recover.

“I heard on the radio talking about President Trump tested positive for the coronavirus, COVID-19, and I was surprised to hear that,” Hamman said.

Right away Hamman’s mind went to a message he himself shared. “The Florida Department of Health has already started the contact tracing to let everybody know,” Hamman said back in July, announcing he had contracted COVID-19.

“I know about the reaction you’re going to get, good and bad from both sides,” Hamman said. “The thing that I think about it, the people who will pick on you when you’re in politics, they don’t really know you personally. They don’t know Brian Hamman. Right?”

Anderson also shared well wishes when we spoke to him about the president and first lady.

“I wish him a speedy recovery, and I hope people pay attention and realize that anybody can get this,” Anderson said.

That’s why Anderson told us people should learn from the president.

“Personal responsibility, personal accountability,” Anderson said. “If we all hold ourselves accountable for our behaviors and our actions, then, we’re in a much better place.”

Both Hamman and Anderson told us their cases of COVID-19 were mild. Hamman donated his plasma after he recovered. Anderson contracted the virus in March and wanted to donate, but Lee Health turned him away as a plasma study participant because he did not meet the criteria at the time.

Hamman said the president should quarantine. That will send an important message.

“We’re used to working through colds. We’re used to working through minor instances,” Hamman said. “And so sometimes we’ll go to work and maybe accidentally spread it.”

Reporter:Morgan Rynor
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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