People Magazine reports that Sarah Palin has tested positive for COVID-19, complete with what she described as “bizarre” symptoms, and is urging Americans to continue taking the virus seriously.
The former governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee-turned-TV personality confirms in a statement to PEOPLE that she contracted the coronavirus as did some of her family members, including 12-year-old son Trig.
Palin, 57 — who is a mom to five children with ex-husband Todd — says her case is proof that “anyone can catch this.”
“As confident as I’d like to be about my own health, and despite my joking that I’m blessed to constantly breathe in the most sterile (frozen!) air, my case is perhaps one of those that proves anyone can catch this,” she says in her statement.
Palin said her daughter caught the virus first, followed by her son. She eventually tested positive herself after she and her son “buckled down in isolated quarantine.”
She adds that she had some of the “bizarre” symptoms characteristic of the virus, like a loss of taste and smell, leading her to assume it was “unmistakable COVID caught me.”
“I strongly encourage everyone to use common sense to avoid spreading this and every other virus out there,” she says in her statement. “There are more viruses than there are stars in the sky, meaning we’ll never avoid every source of illness or danger … But please be vigilant, don’t be frightened, and I advise reprioritizing some personal time and resources to ensure as healthy a lifestyle as you can create so when viruses do hit, you have at least some armor to fight it.”
Journalist Kurt Eichenwald noted on Twitter that Palin’s exhortation to take the pandemic seriously stands in contrast to her visit to Dallas not quite a year ago, when she stopped by a salon whose owner refused to close amid shutdown orders.
CBS News reported at the time:
A Dallas salon that gained national attention when its owner refused to close the business during stay-at-home orders was visited by a high-profile supporter this week. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin stopped by Salon A La Mode on Wednesday while the owner, Shelley Luther, was in jail, CBS Dallas-Fort Worth reports.
Palin posed for a photo with people inside Salon A La Mode, which has remained open despite county-wide stay-at-home orders. On Tuesday, Luther was sentenced to seven days in jail after she ignored multiple court orders to close her salon — one of which she ripped up at a rally in front of Frisco Town Hall. [Update: Luther was released Thursday afternoon; read the latest here.]