Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa has tested positive for the coronavirus. Grassley confirmed his diagnosis on Tuesday, sharing in a tweet that he will be following his doctor's orders as well as guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and "continue to quarantine." Grassley said that he will "keep up on my work for the ppl of Iowa from home."
At 87 years old, Grassley is the second-oldest senator just behind California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, who is also 87. Due to his age, he is considered high risk for severe illness. Grassley, however, said that he is "feeling good." The positive test results caused Grassley to miss his first vote in the chamber since 1993.
I’ve tested positive for coronavirus. I’ll b 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— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) November 17, 2020
"This morning, I learned that I had been exposed to the coronavirus. I received a COVID-19 test and immediately began to quarantine. While I still feel fine, the test came back positive for the coronavirus," a statement from his office read. "I am continuing to follow my doctors’ orders and CDC guidelines. I'll be keeping up on my work for the people of Iowa from home. I appreciate everyone's well wishes and prayers, and look forward to resuming my normal schedule when I can. In the meantime, my offices across Iowa and in Washington remain open and ready to serve Iowans."
Earlier in the day, Grassley had announced that he was entering a quarantine as he awaited test results after having "been exposed to the coronavirus." Grassley did not explain where he came into contact with the virus, though he noted that he was "not currently experiencing any symptoms." He ended his note by stating, "it's important we all follow public health guidelines to keep each other healthy."
Grassley is the most senior Republican in the chamber and is president pro tempore of the Senate. This makes him third in line to the presidency. According to CNN, he presided over the chamber during votes Monday. The outlet notes that it is unclear if any senators who interacted with Grassley are currently isolating as a precaution. Republican Sen. Roy Blunt said that Grassley "been great about wearing his mask and I think great about taking care of himself" and that he "does everything he could be expected to do to protect himself and the rest of us."
Grassley's positive diagnosis comes as coronavirus cases across the country surge, with cases increasing in all 50 states. The virus has affected numerous lawmakers on Capitol Hill, with Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida having announced Saturday that he was isolating after a possible exposure.