U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 27 — the same day the House voted in favor of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package and then signed into law by President Donald Trump.
The Republican congressman, who supported the bill, continues to self-isolate with his wife, Victoria, at their home in Butler, Pa., but is eager to return to Washington when Congress reconvenes in May.
Kelly owns Mike Kelly Automotive, which retails Cadillac, Chevrolet, Kia, Hyundai and Toyota brands in Pennsylvania — a state where auto sales were banned in response to the pandemic.
"We've been through automobile manufacturer strikes. We've been through depressions. We've been through recessions. We've been through high gas prices and low gas prices. We've been through good times and bad times," he told Automotive News. "We usually get through it just because we know how to react to these situations."
Staff Reporter Audrey LaForest spoke with Kelly, 71, about his experience recovering from the disease and how dealers can navigate through the crisis. Here are edited excerpts.
Q: What has your experience with COVID- 19 been like?
A: I did not have the respiratory problems, which is a huge advantage, and I didn't have high temperatures. I was chilled. I was too cold. I lost 30 pounds. I had a loss of appetite, loss of taste — exhausted most of the time, just totally exhausted. That's the one thing I noticed right away. I was just so tired, and I couldn't figure out why. Now I know why.