Senate

Grassley tests positive for coronavirus

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Tuesday evening that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, hours after announcing that he would be quarantining after a potential exposure.

“This morning, I learned that I had been exposed to the coronavirus. I received a COVID-19 test and immediately began to quarantine. While I still feel fine, the test came back positive for the coronavirus,” Grassley said in a statement.

Grassley, who is 87 and third in line to the presidency, added in a tweet that he was “feeling good” and would continue to comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

The senator’s statement revealing the positive test came less than a day after he disclosed that he was going to quarantine after being exposed to the virus.

Grassley was in the Senate on Monday. He helped open the chamber for the week and gave a brief speech from the Senate floor. Like most senators, Grassley was not wearing a mask while he gave his speech from his desk to a largely empty chamber.

The Iowa Republican is the sixth senator to test positive for the coronavirus. 

GOP Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), Mike Lee (Utah), Ron Johnson (Wis.), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Bill Cassidy (La.) have all tested positive. Democratic Sens. Bob Casey (Pa.) and Tim Kaine (Va.) have both said they tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, an indication they were previously exposed to the virus.

Grassley’s decision to quarantine and his subsequent positive diagnosis will interrupt his roughly 27-year voting streak that includes 8,927 uninterrupted votes.

“I’m disappointed I wasn’t able to vote today in the Senate, but the health of others is more important than any record,” Grassley said in a statement earlier Tuesday before he got his positive test results.

Grassley, according to his office, holds the record for the length of time without missing a vote in the history of the Senate. He set that record in 2016 when he surpassed the record set by the late Wisconsin Sen. William Proxmire (D).

Grassley missed his last vote on July 20, 1993, due to flooding in Iowa.

Updated at 6:42 p.m.

Tags Bill Cassidy Bob Casey Chuck Grassley Coronavirus Mike Lee Rand Paul Ron Johnson Senate coronavirus cases Thom Tillis Tim Kaine

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