Democrat Running for NJ Congress Says She Has COVID-19 Symptoms After Husband Tested Positive

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ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Brigid Harrison, who is running for Congress in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District says her husband has been tested positive for COVID-19 and she now has symptoms.  Harrison said she has not yet been tested but shared an inside look into her situation.

Dear Friends:

I wanted to write to inform you personally that my husband, Paul Meilak was recently diagnosed with COVID-19. After developing a fever and significant issues breathing he was admitted to a hospital where he has been receiving treatment for the last few days.

Having been asymptomatic myself, I have been unable to be tested in Atlantic County, but I am feeling fine and like so many others I am following the recommendations of the CDC and Governor Murphy and staying in my home.

As many of you know, I was widowed ten years ago, and Paul is my second husband, who I was lucky enough to meet later in life.

Paul is a 20-year veteran of the New York City Police Department, a retired detective, and served on the front lines during 9/11.  Because Paul’s job is leading security and operations for a hotel in New York City, he rents an apartment there, where he stays several nights a week, as he has throughout our marriage.  We live separately during the week and, during normal times, Paul spends the weekends with me in Longport. But these are not normal times, and this has made our current situation a bit more difficult. I have not seen Paul since mid-March and – like so many other families – it is tough to receive updates in Longport while he is attended to in a NYC hospital. I am asking for your prayers and positive thoughts for his quick recovery.

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Like many who are also sitting in their homes awaiting information regarding a love one, the experience has brought a series of emotions and thoughts these last few days.

First, I would urge everyone to please take care of themselves and to stay in their home.  This is no time to break our practice of shelter in place.  I am so incredibly grateful to the doctors, nurses, and support staff who are caring for my husband when I cannot even visit him. They are true American heroes, and I thank them for putting their lives at risk to care for Paul and for others. Secondly, while at times I feel helpless, this situation has only reinforced the gratitude I feel to the wonderful community we have built in South Jersey through the years, and I am forever thankful for the support my friends and neighbors have shown me.  We all must continue to look after each other.  And finally, I want to reinforce, as I have said publicly in recent days, our work continues, even during these difficult times. Strengthening the voice of South Jersey, supporting our local doctors and nurses and insuring that they have PPE and all the equipment they need to stay safe, fighting for increased testing in each of the district’s counties, and protecting our economic future remains this campaign’s top priority.

I will be sure to keep you updated on Paul’s recovery – and we must remember, there are thousands of people across our district that need testing, medical assistance, and economic support – and we must continue to fight for them.  Thank you.


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