Politics

Sen. Chuck Grassley, Oldest Senate Republican, Tests Positive For COVID-19

Grassley is third in line to the presidency behind Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) speaks as Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the third day of her Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill on October 14, 2020 in Washington, DC. | Getty Images
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) speaks as Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the third day of her Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill on October 14, 2020 in Washington, DC. | Getty Images

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is the latest member of Congress to test positive for COVID-19.The 87-year-old senator announced his diagnosis Tuesday evening on Twitter. 

“I’ve tested positive for coronavirus,” Grassley wrote. “I’ll [be] following my doctors’ orders/CDC guidelines & continue to quarantine. I’m feeling good + will keep up on my work for the ppl of Iowa from home. I appreciate everyone’s well wishes + prayers &look fwd to resuming my normal schedule soon.”

Grassley serves as president pro tempore of the Senate and is third in line to the presidency behind Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). He famously had previously never missed a Senate vote during his tenure.

Grassley was the second senator to go into isolation in the past week, following Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who announced he was possibly exposed to COVID-19 over the weekend. 
 

Grassley’s diagnosis came one day after a tense exchange on the Senate floor between Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK), wherein Brown asked Sullivan to wear a mask while in the chamber sitting closely to other aides. Sullivan refused. 

After a White House event to announce the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court in October, several attending congress members including Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Mike Lee (R-UT) announced they tested positive for COVID-19. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump also announced that they had COVID-19 after the event, and the president was hospitalized with the virus for a few days at Walter Reed Medical Center.

Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to break COVID-19 records. More than 11 million cases have been reported in the nation — the highest case count in the world — and the death toll is nearing 250,000 Americans, according to Johns Hopkins.