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Rep. David Byrd Says He Might Go On A Ventilator After Being Hospitalized For COVID


State Rep. David Byrd, R-Waynesboro, announced on Facebook he might go on a ventilator if his oxygen levels do not improve.

During the weekend, it was reported that Byrd had to be flown to a hospital in Nashville as he battles COVID-19.

On Monday, Byrd asked his Facebook followers to pray for his lungs to heal after contracting the virus. But on Thursday, he said his doctors have given him an update on his condition.

“I really need a miracle today!! My doctor said if my oxygen level doesn’t improve then he has no choice but to put me on a ventilator,” Byrd posted. “So please pray that God will breathe His healing spirit into my lungs!!”

It’s unclear when Byrd tested positive for the coronavirus. The House GOP Caucus held an in-person retreat in his district on Nov. 19-21. A caucus spokeswoman declined to confirm whether Byrd was in attendance.

House GOP Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison, through a caucus spokeswoman, said, “Our prayers are with the Byrds and every other Tennessean family who is battling COVID.”

Byrd has served in the state legislature since 2014. The 63-year-old lawmaker is perhaps best known outside his district for having been accused two years ago of sexually assaulting three women when he was their teacher and basketball coach at Wayne County High School in the 1980s. He has not publicly denied the allegations against him.

Byrd won re-election in November after initially saying he would not run for another term.

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán is Nashville Public Radio’s political reporter. Prior to moving to Nashville, Sergio covered education for the Standard-Examiner newspaper in Ogden, Utah. He is a Puerto Rico native and his work has also appeared on NPR station WKAR, San Antonio Express-News, Inter News Service, GFR Media and WMIZ 1270 AM.
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