Byrd airlifted to Nashville hospital after COVID-19 diagnosis

Embattled Rep. David Byrd (R-Waynesboro) attends a House Education Committee meting in Nashville on March 28, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

State Rep. David Byrd was flown from Wayne County to a Nashville hospital over the weekend after being diagnosed with COVID-19 and pneumonia.

Byrd, of Waynesboro, attended a recent House Republican Caucus meeting while not wearing a face covering. Days earlier, he hosted a dinner for dozens of GOP colleagues attending a caucus retreat at Pickwick Landing State Park, The Tennessean reported.

Byrd has been under fire since being accused — and never explicitly denying — of sexual misconduct with high school basketball players when he was their coach in the 1980s. When momentum was growing to launch an official investigation into the allegations last year, Bryd told colleagues he wouldn’t run for re-election this year. But he changed his mind on the eve of the candidate filing deadline in April, saying he wanted to remain in the General Assembly to help guide the state’s response to COVID-19.

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