Three senators said Thursday they tested positive for COVID-19 despite being vaccinated, a high-level group of advanced cases that emerge as the highly contagious variable delta spreads rapidly across the United States.
Senator Angus King, I-Main, Roger Wicker, R. Mays and John Hickenlooper, DeColo, said they have tested positive for the virus. Nearly every senator spent hours together on the chamber floor in a nightly budget vote last week before leaving town for August recess.
King said he started developing a fever on Wednesday and was undergoing a COVID test on the advice of his doctor. “Even though I’m not feeling well, I definitely feel a lot better than I would have felt without the vaccine,” King said.
Wicker’s office said he tested positive for the virus Thursday morning.
“Senator Wicker is fully immune to COVID-19, is in good health and is being treated by his Tupelo resident physician,” a statement from his staff said. He is in isolation and everyone in close contact with Senator Wicker has been notified recently.
Hickenlooper announced his positive test a few hours later.
“I am fine, but will be quarantined as instructed by the doctor. I am grateful for the vaccine (and the scientists behind it!) for reducing symptoms,” Hickenlooper wrote on Twitter. “If you don’t have the opportunity yet, grab it today! And support when it’s available too!”
The breaches surfaced the day after US health officials announced plans to distribute enhanced images of COVID-19 to Americans. They said the injections are necessary to bolster their protection against the delta variant, amid signs that the vaccine’s effectiveness is declining over time.
Senator Lindsey Graham, Republika Srpska announced on August 2 that he has tested positive for COVID-19 despite being vaccinated. “I send my best wishes for a speedy recovery to my friends and colleagues,” he wrote on Twitter on Thursday.
“If you haven’t already, please #get a vaccine,” Graham added.
Dozens of members of Congress have reported positive results for COVID-19. Ron Wright, a Texas Republican, died at 67 of the disease early this year, while Representative-elect Luke Littlelow, a 41-year-old Republican of Laura, died in December before being sworn in.
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