NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee Representative David Byrd, who is currently hospitalized with COVID-19, is asking for continued prayers as he may have to be placed on a ventilator due to his low oxygen levels as he battles the virus.
“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. So please pray that God will breathe His healing spirit into my lungs!!” the 63-year-old lawmaker posted on social media.
Rep. Byrd (R-Waynesboro) was flown to a Saint Thomas hospital in Nashville Sunday from Wayne County Hospital.
Byrd attended the House GOP caucus meeting on Nov. 24 when the nearly 70-member group reelected legislative leaders. He also participated in a House GOP overnight retreat the weekend prior.
Byrd is the second Tennessee lawmaker to be hospitalized due to the virus. To date, 30 legislative staffers or lawmakers have tested positive for COVID-19 since May, according to Connie Ridley, director of legislative administration.
Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. John Ray Clemmons wrote a letter to House Speaker Cameron Sexton, a Republican from Crossville this week pleading that the leader to implement strict health and safety regulations when the GOP-dominant Statehouse kicks off its 2021 session in January.
“I cannot put the health of my and other’s children in jeopardy, so I will likely have to self-quarantine from my family for the duration of our legislative session unless a mask mandate and other proper precautions are put in place by your office,” the Nashville Democrat wrote, noting he had three young children doing virtual schooling at home.
*The Associated Press contributed to this report.