(WKBN) – About two weeks ago, we reported that western Pennsylvania Congressman Mike Kelly tested positive for COVID-19. He represents Mercer and Lawrence counties. Thursday afternoon, we talked with Kelly about his recovery.
A year and a half ago, Kelly was celebrating a re-election victory. But today at his home in Butler, he’s recovering from the coronavirus.
“I’m starting to come on the other end of it. Feeling much better, not quite up to where I want to be but getting there,” he said.
Kelly started feeling the symptoms after St. Patrick’s Day — aching muscles, no appetite, headaches, the chills and just total exhaustion.
“I live in a very old house. Up and down the stairs, it took a lot out of me. It would take me a couple minutes to recover once I got either upstairs or downstairs, whatever the destination was. But the exhaustion part was the hardest part of it,” he said.
Around March 25, the congressman was tested at a drive-thru center at Butler Hospital. Two days later, he learned it was positive.
He was never hospitalized and never had respiratory issues like other people — his oxygen intake was OK.
Kelly has been home and isolated ever since.
“I’m eating now, not big meals but I’m at least eating meals,” he said. “But still feeling tired. Very tired most of the time.”
Kelly owns auto dealerships in Butler and Uniontown, where the sales departments are closed but parts and services are open. It is a decision he questions.
“I look at that and say very rarely would you have two or three people talking to each other even within a close range. Most of the things are done on open lots or in big showrooms or over the phone,” he said.
Kelly added that he totally understands the tough decisions being made about closing businesses, that someone had to make them. He just wishes there was a better explanation about why certain businesses were deemed essential and others were not.
“When somebody says you are no longer allowed to be in business, that’s a hell of a big difference than going through a recession, that’s a hell of a big difference than going through a strike, that’s a hell of a big difference in going through just downturn in the economy. When the government tells you you have to shut down, that’s a big deal,” he said.