(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following story is in our March issues, and was written prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine this week. See this story for local reaction to the conflict.)
With the world threatened by an ongoing pandemic and the potential for war in Eastern Europe, U.S. Rep. Collin Allred, D-Dallas, visited Ukraine and returned with a mild case of COVID-19.
The Hillcrest High School graduate and member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee joined a bipartisan delegation in meeting with NATO and the EU officials in Brussels, Belgium, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.
The delegation led by House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Gregory Meeks (D-New York) discussed the buildup of Russian troops along Ukraine’s border and in Belarus.
“The United States, our EU and NATO allies, and Ukraine all stand united in working to deter Russian aggression at the Ukrainian border,” Allred said. “Ukraine is a vital democracy in the region, and I saw firsthand the strong will and determination of its people to protect that democracy.”
The delegation also visited the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center to commemorate International Holocaust Memorial Day.
Allred tested negative for COVID-19 before boarding for the trip and several times during it. The fully vaccinated congressman suffered only mild symptoms and followed CDC and U.S. House quarantine guidelines after testing positive upon returning to the U.S.
“Despite this diagnosis, this was still a vitally important trip, where my colleagues and I heard directly from NATO, EU, and Ukrainian officials about the threat of Russian aggression,” he said. “Our bipartisan delegation traveled thousands of miles and together, showed our strong commitment to the Ukrainian people.”