Griffith, who has represented the rural southwestern district since 2011, said he was feeling fine, speaking in a brief phone interview Tuesday afternoon while he was monitoring a committee hearing.
“The quote stands for itself. I’m fine,” he said. “I don’t feel bad.”
On Thursday, Griffith stood in the middle of a group of fellow Freedom Caucus members at a news conference outside the Capitol as they called for schools to reopen. Griffith, standing shoulder to shoulder with the others, wore a pink mask but removed it while speaking. Others in the group were maskless.
At the news conference, while he acknowledged that covid-19 was a “serious disease,” he also said it would be safe for students to return to classrooms if schools “mitigate the risks, which we can easily do.” He said decisions about schools should be left to local authorities and be based on “real science and not just the fear that has been created by this disease.”
Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.) wished Griffith well on Twitter.
“Morgan get well soon,” he tweeted. “I pray that your symptoms continue to be mild.”
But others mocked him for playing down the risks.
“I thought it was a hoax?” one critic tweeted.
Several other members of Congress also have tested positive for the virus. In May, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.)announced that he and his wife, Anne Holton, tested positive for coronavirus antibodies earlier that month.