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Rep. Devin Nunes. Photo: Alex Edelman/Getty Images

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) told California radio station KMJNOW on Friday that he's tested positive for coronavirus antibodies.

The big picture: Nunes has faced criticism for downplaying the seriousness of the virus. In March, he encouraged healthy people to "go out" despite the advice of public health experts for people to stay home.

What they're saying: Nunes told radio host Ray Appleton, "I just spent the last couple hours giving blood plasma and it was painless," adding, “So I actually tested positive for the COVID antibodies.”

  • "So that means you had it?" Appleton responded. "Yeah," Nunes said. 

Of note: Per the Centers for Disease Control, "A positive test result shows you may have antibodies from an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. However, there is a chance that a positive result means you have antibodies from an infection with a different virus from the same family of viruses (called coronaviruses)."

Axios has reached out to Nunes' office for comment but has received no response.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Nunes has tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, not the live virus.

Go deeper

Updated 19 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.