Monday, 5 Jun 2023

U.S. lawmakers who tested positive for the coronavirus

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Three members of the U.S. Congress have tested positive for the new coronavirus, and more than two dozen others have said they are self-quarantining in hopes of limiting the spread of the pandemic.

House of Representatives leaders aim on Friday to pass the $2.2 trillion relief bill passed by the Senate on a voice vote late on Wednesday, which would spare most of the chamber’s 430 current members from having to travel back to Washington.

Here is a look at some of the lawmakers affected:


Senator Rand Paul

The Kentucky Republican said on March 22 that he had tested positive and was in quarantine. He said he was asymptomatic and feeling fine and was tested out of an abundance of caution. He had been in the Senate and using the gym there in the days before he received his positive result. [nL1N2BF09W]

Representative Mario Diaz-Balart

The Florida Republican said on March 18 that he tested positive after developing symptoms on March 14. That was less than 24 hours after he and more than 400 other members of the House of Representatives crowded into the chamber to pass a sweeping coronavirus aid package.

Representative Ben McAdams

The Utah Democrat said on March 18 that he had the virus, also having developed symptoms on March 14. In a statement on Tuesday, the 45-year-old said he was hospitalized and doctors were monitoring his occasional need for oxygen.


Republican Senators Mitt Romney and Mike Lee said on Sunday they would self-quarantine after having spent time with Paul.

Romney said on Tuesday that he had tested negative for the virus but would stay in quarantine. His wife, Ann, has multiple sclerosis.

At least four other senators previously self-quarantined. They are Republicans Cory Gardner, Lindsey Graham, Rick Scott and Ted Cruz. All have since returned to public life.

On Wednesday, Republican Senator John Thune returned to his home in South Dakota on a chartered airplane after waking up feeling ill. Thune’s office said doctors encouraged him to continue “self-monitoring” but that self-quarantine was not necessary.

Democratic Senator and former presidential contender Amy Klobuchar said on Monday her husband, 52-year-old John Bessler, had the virus and was in the hospital, but she was not at risk because she had not seen him for two weeks. That is longer than the quarantine period.

More than two dozen House members have self-quarantined, some after exposure to Diaz-Balart or McAdams, and others after contacts with their constituents or staffers who later tested positive. Not all are still in isolation.

Three prominent Democratic House members on Wednesday said they were self-quarantining after experiencing symptoms: Seth Moulton and Ayanna Pressley and Katie Porter.

Pressley and Porter said they were awaiting test results, while Moulton said he did not take a test because he did not qualify for one.

Other members who have self-quarantined include: Republicans Steve Scalise, Mark Meadows, Tom Cole, Doug Collins, Drew Ferguson, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar and Ann Wagner, along with Democrats Don Beyer, Anthony Brindisi, Julia Brownley, Jason Crow, Joe Cunningham, Sharice Davids, Kendra Horn, Andy Kim, Gwen Moore, Stephanie Murphy, Ben Ray Lujan, David Price, Kathleen Rice, David Schweikert and John Yarmuth.

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