Sen. Tillis, R-NC, is second on Judiciary to get COVID-19

By Alex Rogers | CNN

Two Republican senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee announced Friday that they had tested positive for Covid-19, just days after attending a White House event where President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, and Sen. Thom Tillis, a North Carolina Republican, both attended Saturday’s event at the White House. Multiple attendees from that event, including President Donald Trump, have tested positive in the week since the ceremony, which featured many people not wearing masks and not observing proper social distancing protocols.

Both Lee and Tillis met in person with Barrett earlier this week.

Lee tweeted on Friday that he took the test Thursday, and would “remain isolated” for 10 days. He said he has “assured” Senate Republican leaders that he will “be back to work” to join the Judiciary panel to advance Barrett’s nomination to the full Senate for a confirmation vote.

Tillis said in a statement that he tested positive Friday night and he will be isolating at home for 10 days. Tillis is locked in a tight reelection race with Democrat Cal Cunningham.

“Over the last few months, I’ve been routinely tested for COVID-19, including testing negative last Saturday, but tonight my rapid antigen test came back positive,” Tillis said.

“Thankfully, I have no symptoms and I feel well. As we all know, COVID-19 is a very contagious and deadly virus, especially because many carriers are asymptomatic. I encourage all North Carolinians to follow the recommendations of medical experts, including wearing a mask, washing hands, and practicing social distancing.”

Barrett tested negative for coronavirus on Friday, according to White House spokesperson Judd Deere, and CNN reported earlier Friday that she was diagnosed with coronavirus late this summer but has recovered, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

Trump disclosed that he contracted the virus hours before Lee’s announcement.

Lee said he experienced symptoms “consistent with longtime allergies” on Thursday morning and took the test “out of an abundance of caution.” He said he also took the test “just a few days ago” when he visited the White House for the announcement of Barrett’s nomination.

“Like so many other Utahns, I will now spend part of 2020 working from home,” said Lee in his statement.

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