Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta, who is reportedly on Joe Biden’s vice presidential short list, said on Monday that she had tested positive for coronavirus.
“COVID-19 has literally hit home,” she wrote on Twitter. “I have had NO symptoms and have tested positive.”
In an MSNBC interview on Monday, Bottoms said that she got tested because her husband had been sleeping more than usual — sometimes a symptom of having the coronavirus — and that the positive result was a “shock.”
“It leaves me for a loss of words because I think it really speaks to how contagious this virus is and we’ve taken all the precautions you can possibly take,” Bottoms said. She added that she gets allergies, and feels fine other than having a mild cough and a headache.
Coronavirus cases are increasing in Georgia, with the state reporting new daily highs. As of Monday afternoon, the Georgia Department of Public Health confirmed 97,064 cases — an increase of 6,571 since Friday.
There are more than 2.9 million cases and 130,000 deaths in the U.S. overall, according to a Johns Hopkins University database.
With the pandemic and widespread protests against racism and police brutality, Bottoms has gained national prominence and appeared regularly on cable news panels. The mayor is often listed as a top contender for Biden’s vice presidential pick, alongside Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and former national security adviser Susan Rice.
When protests erupted after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Bottoms herself participated in peaceful demonstrations. And in April, she was thrust into the spotlight when she criticized Gov. Brian Kemp’s push to reopen the Georgia economy, saying that she could not endorse his decision as the mayor of the state’s densest city and that the move endangered residents.
“I may not have the legal authority to override the state,” she had written in The Atlantic. “I do have the right to use my voice to encourage people to exercise common sense, listen to the science, follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and stay home, if at all possible.”