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'Tamale Guy' Claudio Velez On Ventilator With COVID-19, Just Weeks After Opening His Restaurant

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Just a few weeks ago, a Chicago man's dream came true. After 25 years of selling his popular tamales from a cooler, Claudio Velez, known as "The Tamale Guy," finally opened his own restaurant in West Town.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has put a dent in that dream.

Velez officially opened Tamale Guy Chicago at Damen and Chicago earlier this month. Donations from loyal customers help him set up shop, but his staff said Velez has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, leaving him on a ventilator in intensive care.

The restaurant is now closed until further notice.

Customers and friends have set up the a GoFundMe page to help Velez with mounting medical bills.





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