GOP senator diagnosed with COVID-19 attends Barrett hearing sans mask
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), diagnosed with COVID-19 just 10 days ago, ignored guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and attended Monday’s Senate hearing on Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination without a face mask.
Lee, who earlier this month declared that the United States is “not a democracy,” delivered a speech to the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of Barrett.
Fellow committee member Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), commented that Lee looked like he had made a full recovery. Lee greeted the remark with a wide smile.
A maskless Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who tested positive for COVID 10 days ago, is lecturing about his pocket Constitution.
Lee has not revealed if he’s tested negative before today’s hearing. pic.twitter.com/r0bTZVjAXR
Lee told talk show host Hugh Hewitt earlier on Monday that he was “feeling great” and “ready to be back in the saddle and excited for today’s hearings to begin.” He said he’d gotten “the sign-off” from the congressional physician.
“I’ve gone through the appropriate number of days, and I’ve been keeping my temperature under control, and I’m no longer contagious,” Lee said, adding that for people who recover from COVID-19, “for at least a period of a few months, you’re not going to get it again.”
Researchers have not yet determined whether that’s true, although there have been no confirmed reports of a person being reinfected with COVID-19 within three months.
Lee later shared a letter from Dr. Brian Monahan, the congressional attending physician, on his website. “Based upon current CDC guidelines, you have met criteria to end COVID-19 isolation for those with mild to moderate disease,” Monahan wrote. “Specifically, it has been greater than 10 days since symptom onset, you have had no fever in absence of fever reducing medication for at least 24 hours, and your other symptoms have improved. The CDC does not recommend repeat SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing if these criteria are met.”
Lee tweeted 10 days ago that he had experienced COVID-19 symptoms and had tested positive.
“Unlike the test I took just a few days ago while visiting the White House, yesterday’s test came back positive,” he wrote at the time.
Lee, like President Donald Trump and multiple others who fell ill from the coronavirus, attended a Sept. 26 White House Rose Garden event celebrating Barretts’s nomination. He did not wear a mask.
CDC guidance says anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 should “stay home for 14 days” in an effort to prevent further spread.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), another Judiciary Committee member, participated in Monday’s hearing remotely. He said he was doing so “out of an abundance of caution” after previously interacting with Lee.
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