Politics & Policy

Sen. Ron Johnson Says He Will Vote in Person to Confirm Barrett Despite Testing Positive for Coronavirus: ‘I’ll Go in a Moon Suit’

Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., May 15, 2018. (Erin Schaff/Reuters)

Senator Ron Johnson said Monday that he has no symptoms after testing positive for the coronavirus over the weekend and announced that he plans to vote in person on the Supreme Court nomination even if it means he has to wear a “moon suit.”

“I feel perfectly normal, I have not had any symptoms,” Johnson said Monday during a radio interview on the Ross Kaminsky Show.

Johnson’s office announced Saturday that the Wisconsin Republican tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday and was not experiencing any symptoms after he was exposed to an individual who also tested positive. The senator is currently quarantining for his third time since the U.S. outbreak began. His diagnosis came a day after President Trump announced that he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus.

Republican senators Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah, both of whom serve on the Judiciary Committee, also announced last week that they had tested positive for the coronavirus.

With the confirmation hearings of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett scheduled to begin on October 12, some Senate Democrats including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, have called for the upcoming hearings to be postponed to allow Barrett and senators who were potentially exposed to the virus to be tested and isolate.

Johnson argued that Barrett’s confirmation can proceed as long as the Senate takes the proper health and safety precautions.

“There’s no reason we can’t confirm Judge Barrett,” Johnson said, cautioning that the confirmation hearings could be held “electronically,” but voting remotely is “probably not possible” since the rules of the Senate would have to be changed.

“But If we have to go in and vote, I’ve already told leadership I’ll go in a moon suit,” Johnson said.

“Where there is a will, there’s a way,” Johnson said. “We can do these things.”

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