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Northeast Ohio US Rep. Tim Ryan tests positive for COVID-19, says it could've been 'much, much worse' without vaccine

The congressman is fully vaccinated and is currently experiencing 'mild' symptoms.

WASHINGTON — EDITOR'S NOTE: The video in the player above is from an unrelated story about vaccines.

One of Northeast Ohio's most prominent politicians has tested positive for COVID-19.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan announced his diagnosis Monday afternoon, saying he contracted the virus despite being fully vaccinated. The congressman says he is currently experiencing "mild" symptoms and believes his condition could've been "much, much worse" had he not gotten the shots.

"What we have learned over the last year and a half is that we are in this together," Ryan, who represents the state's 13th Congressional District, wrote on Twitter. "I urge all Ohioans to help us crush this pandemic by wearing a mask and getting vaccinated so that we can get back to normal."

Thanks to the prevalence of the more severe delta variant, "breakthrough" coronavirus cases (i.e. infections in fully vaccinated individuals) have been on the rise across America. However, statistics have shown the vaccines to still be highly effective against severe illness: Of the more than 24,000 COVID hospitalizations in Ohio since Jan. 1, just over 3% have been among fully vaccinated patients.

RELATED: "Vaccination works" | CDC study shows unvaccinated more likely to die of COVID-19

Ryan, who is running for the Democratic nomination to replace outgoing U.S. Sen. Rob Portman in 2022, also thanked the "true heroes" at Mercy Health who helped treat him. His Democratic primary opponent, former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau attorney Morgan Harper, sent a tweet of her own wishing him a "speedy recovery."

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