Fresh off his victory over challenger Alyse Galvin, U.S. Rep. Don Young said he is doing well after contracting COVID-19 last week. The 25-time winner of Alaska’s sole seat in the U.S. House issued an update on his health Nov. 16.
“There has been much speculation in the media on my current condition, and I want Alaskans to know that their Congressman is alive, feeling better, and on the road to recovery,” Young said. “Over the weekend, I was admitted to Providence Hospital for treatment and monitoring. The team at Providence did an outstanding job, and their commitment to patient care is to be commended. I have been discharged and continue recovering and working from home in Alaska.”
While the 87-year-old is getting better, he admits that he “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 felt compelled to speak out on his health after media speculation scared some of his supporters.
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“This is irresponsible, and I do not want any Alaskans to be scared of seeking testing or treatment out of privacy concerns,” he said. “COVID-19 is a serious virus, and its recent surge in our state has made this a critical moment. I encourage all Alaskans to continue following CDC guidelines: practice social distancing; use a mask; avoid crowds whenever possible.”
But Young is not advocating a perpetual state of hunkering down.
“The economy, in both Alaska and our entire nation, has been devastated by this virus. This is not just a public health emergency, but an economic crisis as well,” he said. “Today, we received encouraging news that a second COVID-19 vaccine candidate has shown to be successful. This development represents tremendous potential, but we must continue looking out for one another.”
“We cannot hunker down forever,” he added, “but I sincerely believe that we will be successful in fighting COVID-19, so that we can restore our economic health in the present, and secure a bright future for all Alaskans; our children and grandchildren are depending on us. Stay safe, and may God Bless Alaska and our frontline workers.”
Young is the longest serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives. According to the latest results from the Alaska Division of Elections, he is leading two-time challenger Galvin by nearly 22,000 votes with just over 7,000 left to count.