Councilwoman Maritza Davila appeared to suffer from shortness of breath while speaking at the televised City Council meeting on Tuesday night.
Davila revealed she had tested positive for Covid-19 hours earlier. Her revelation came days after several sources circulated information that she had been exposed to Covid-19 and was showing apparent symptoms.
She struggled to speak at the televised virtual meeting.
Davila claimed her privacy rights were violated because people called her and told her she was positive before she received her second test results. She took the test on Monday and received the results on Tuesday.
“The privacy (only pertains to some) in this city is despicable,” Davila told her supporters on social media.
Davila, even while suffering from the virus, lambasted mayor Andre Sayegh and health officer Paul Persaud on Tuesday afternoon.
“I had an issue with the Health Officer telling me I had been exposed but wouldn’t say by who,” she vented in her post.
Health officials routinely call people to inform them they were exposed to a case as part of the contact tracing program. People exposed are provided instructions to stay home and monitor for possible symptoms.
“Councilwoman Davila has attacked me publicly numerous times. On every such occasion she has been wrong. I cannot and will not entertain discussions with her pertaining to cases of other individuals. So, she can kick and scream all she wants; I nor my staff will be intimidated by her menacing tantrums. I do wish her a speedy recovery from the affliction she suffers,” said Persaud.
Persaud is barred from sharing names of infected patients without their permission. Sharing patient information is both unlawful and unethical and could lead to sanctions against him.
Davila’s post stated she told Persaud she tested negative, but he still told her to quarantine for 14 days.
“I did the right thing,” said Persaud of urging the councilwoman to quarantine.
Davila was campaigning with candidates in the November 3 election. She was also visiting people in their homes. Many people in her circle began to show symptoms for the virus and tested positive last week, according to sources.
Davila, who has an elevated risk for complications from Covid-19 that could lead to death, hasn’t always exercised caution in the pandemic. During the first wave of the virus, she attended former councilman Shahin Khalique’s campaign victory celebration that had dozens of people packed in a room, many without masks. She is seen in Khalique’s campaign office in October sitting with several people. They are seen somewhat apart from each other, but none of them had masks on in the indoor space.
Davila claimed Persaud is applying a “double standard.” He cleared mayor Andre Sayegh, who quarantined himself on November 12 after being exposed to a positive case.
“Why the double standards? Why did he go into city hall and possibly expose others yesterday Monday? Why? Dr. Paul Persaud you cannot pick and choose who quarantines for 14 days and who can stay in whatever days they want,” stated Davila in her post.
Sayegh was back at City Hall, taking pictures with actor Alec Baldwin, on November 16. Sayegh had been infected in the first wave of the virus in April.
Sayegh said two weeks had elapsed since he was exposed. He also obtained two negative test results before returning to work.
“I don’t comment on her health and she shouldn’t comment on my health either. That’s a personal matter. And it’s entirely inappropriate. She doesn’t know my situation,” said Sayegh.
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