Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms
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Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who is reportedly in the running to become the running mate to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, said Monday she has tested positive for the coronavirus.
“COVID-19 has literally hit home,” Bottoms said in a tweet. “I have had NO symptoms and have tested positive.”
Bottoms, 50, has gained national attention in recent weeks for her handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the nationwide protest movement against police brutality and racism, both of which have had major impacts on Atlanta.
Neither the Atlanta mayor’s office nor the Biden campaign immediately responded to CNBC’s requests for comment on Bottoms’ tweet.
Bottoms has been an outspoken critic of Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, whom she accused of rushing the process of lifting the strict social distancing measures put in place to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Last month, Bottoms’ city became a hot spot for the civil unrest over race and law enforcement that had already boiled over across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis.
Protesters and rioters burned down a Wendy’s fast-food restaurant in Atlanta where a white officer on June 12 shot Rayshard Brooks, a Black man who had fallen asleep at the wheel of his car in the drive-thru lane.
Brooks, 27, fought with two officers after being questioned at length about his sobriety. Footage of the incident showed him grabbing one of the officers’ stun guns and fleeing, then appearing to turn and point the device at an officer who pulled out his firearm and shot Brooks. Both former officers involved in the incident have been charged.
“That could have been any one of us,” Bottoms said in an interview days after the incident. “That could be any of our kids or brothers. In this case it was: It was someone’s father.”
Bottoms had previously been floated as a possible vice presidential pick by Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., the influential House Majority Whip whose endorsement of Biden during the contentious primary season was seen as an inflection point in the race for the Democratic nomination.
“There is a young lady right there in Georgia who I think would make a tremendous VP candidate, and that’s the mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms,” Clyburn said.
Political betting markets have since put the Atlanta mayor near the top of the running to become the VP pick for Biden, who has already vowed to choose a woman as his veep. Biden is expected to announce his selection by early August.
Bottoms is hardly the first politician to be diagnosed with Covid-19. More than half a dozen members of Congress have tested positive for the highly contagious disease, and most lawmakers have taken at least some preventive steps to protect themselves and others from catching it.