COVID-19

Gordon tests positive for COVID-19

Mara Cepeda

POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. Senator Richard Gordon speaks during a Senate hearing on August 14, 2018.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

(1st UPDATE) Fully vaccinated individuals like Senator Richard Gordon can still be infected with COVID-19. He is asymptomatic.

Senator Richard Gordon said he has been infected with the coronavirus but he is asymptomatic. 

The senator himself confirmed this when asked in a DZXL interview on Wednesday, July 28, if he tested positive for the virus.

“Yes, yes. Regular nagpapa-test ako. Asymptomatic ako (Yes, yes. I am regularly tested. I am asymptomatic),” said Gordon, who is also chairman of the humanitarian organization Philippine Red Cross that offers various pandemic response services in the country, including cheaper COVID-19 tests.

Gordon said he immediately isolated himself at home as soon as he found out he was positive. He virtually attended the opening of the Senate’s session and President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 26.

His doctor advised Gordon to have his lungs and blood checked as an added safety measure against the highly infectious Delta variant.

Gordon’s wife and the senator’s staff all tested negative for COVID-19, but are due to get tested again in three days.

Gordon, however, seemed unbothered as he talked about his COVID-19 infection, saying he and his wife are fully vaccinated. 

“I have been fully vaccinated and am grateful for the protection the vaccine affords me today. While infections in vaccinated people are relatively uncommon, they can and do happen. What vaccines offer, as has been documented in countries with high rate of vaccination, is protection against serious illness, hospitalization, and death,” Gordon said.

“Vaccines work and they save lives. I urge every Filipino to get vaccinated against COVID-19 if a vaccine is made available to you by your LGU, your employer, the Red Cross, or any other organization that has access to vaccines,” he added. 

COVID-19 vaccines – regardless of their brand – work against hospitalization and even death, but vaccinated individuals can still be infected with the virus.

This is why health authorities still advise fully vaccinated Filipinos to continue wearing their masks and follow other health protocols.

Gordon is now the sixth Philippine senator to test positive for COVID-19. Senators Aquilino Pimentel III, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Sonny Angara, Ronald dela Rosa, and Bong Revilla Jr. were previously infected but all recovered from COVID-19. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.