Health Care

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) during a Senate committee hearing in Washington D.C., August 6, 2020 (Toni Sandys/Reuters)

Senator Ron Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus, his office announced on Saturday.

The Wisconsin Republican “feels healthy and is not experiencing symptoms,” the senator’s office said.

Johnson was exposed to an individual who tested positive for the coronavirus in September, after which he quarantined for two weeks and tested negative for the virus. After returning to Washington on September 29, he was exposed to another individual who tested positive. Johnson subsequently tested positive himself and is remaining “isolated until given the all-clear by his doctor,” Johnson spokesman Ben Voelkel said in a statement.

Johnson’s diagnosis comes a day after President Trump announced that he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus. Trump was flown in Marine One to Walter Reed Medical Center Friday evening with “mild symptoms” and will remain at the hospital over the next several days.

Johnson is the third GOP senator to test positive for Covid-19, after Senators Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah, both of whom serve on the Judiciary Committee.

Lee tested positive just two days after he met with in-person with Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said Friday that the upcoming confirmation hearings for Barrett must be postponed to allow Barrett and senators who were potentially exposed to the virus to be tested and isolate.

However, top Republicans in the Senate including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham both said on Friday that they plan to push forward with the confirmation hearing on Barrett’s nomination on October 12 as scheduled.

“Full steam ahead with the fair, thorough, timely process that the nominee, the Court, & the country deserve,” McConnell wrote in a tweet.

The absence of the three senators during the coming weeks would effectively prevent Barrett from being confirmed to the Court, since Republicans hold a 53 to 47 majority in the Senate.

Former counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, and top White House aide Hope Hicks have all tested positive for the coronavirus as well.

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