West Hollywood Mayor Tests Positive for COVID-19

The openly gay mayor is self-quarantining at home.

The City of West Hollywood has been hard-hit by coronavirus, including its top-ranking official. Mayor John D’Amico, who is gay, has tested positive for COVID-19, the city reported Wednesday.

D’Amico, 57, has helmed the two-mile city’s response to the pandemic, as the City Council has declared a state of emergency and shuttered its vibrant LGBTQ nightlife. West Hollywood, the gay epicenter of Los Angeles, is now eerily quiet. The clubs along Santa Monica Boulevard, typically overflowing onto the sidewalks and pulsing with music, are dark.

About 40% of West Hollywood’s residents are LGBTQ, and experts warn the virus could have uniquely devastating impacts on queer communities.

D’Amico, a longtime LGBTQ advocate, has been deeply critical of President Trump’s handling of the pandemic, blasting him as an ineffective leader during the crisis.

D’Amico, who is HIV-positive, is reportedly self-quarantining at home. He did not attend Monday’s city council meeting because he felt ill, according to local media reports.

The position of Mayor in West Hollywood is largely symbolic; each City Council member serves in the role on a rotating basis. D’Amico was installed last year after former Mayor John Duran resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment, which Duran has denied.

Kate Sosin is an award-winning, trans-identified news and investigative reporter.