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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

L.A. becomes first county to surpass 1 million coronavirus cases

COVID-19 mass-vaccination of healthcare workers takes place at Dodger Stadium. Photo: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Los Angeles County officials said Saturday they had detected the county's first case of the highly transmissible coronavirus variant first found in the United Kingdom.

Why it matters: The announcement came as L.A. became the first county to surpass 1 million COVID-19 cases, straining the area's already overwhelmed health care system.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.