Several senators attended an event on Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) houseboat over the weekend, and one of the attendees, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), announced Monday he tested positive for coronavirus.
In addition to Manchin and Graham, senators who were present at the gathering included Sens. John Thune (R-SD), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Mark Kelly (D-AZ), according to multiple reports.
A spokeswoman for Manchin’s office told Breitbart News, “Senator Manchin is fully vaccinated and following the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines for those exposed to a COVID positive individual.” Manchin, as well as Coons and Thune, have all reportedly tested negative since learning of Graham’s diagnosis.
Cortez Masto, Rosen, Cantwell, and Kelly have not reported results of a coronavirus test as of the time of this publishing.
Cortez Masto’s spokeswoman Lauren Wodarski told Breitbart News, “Over the weekend, Senator Cortez Masto attended Senator Manchin’s bipartisan get-together, which was also attended by Senator Graham. She is fully vaccinated and is following all CDC and Office of Attending Physician guidelines for coming into contact with a COVID-positive individual.”
Rosen, Cantwell, and Kelly did not respond to Breitbart News’s request for comment.
The CDC guidelines state that those who are vaccinated do not need to quarantine if exposed to an individual who has coronavirus but that they should be tested.
“People who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms,” the CDC states. “However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even they don’t have symptoms and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.”
Graham announced Monday he tested positive for coronavirus, that he has mild symptoms, and that he will quarantine for ten days. He noted he had been vaccinated and said he is “very glad” about it because he believes his “symptoms would be far worse” had he not received the vaccine:
I feel like I have a sinus infection and at present time I have mild symptoms.
I will be quarantining for ten days.
I am very glad I was vaccinated because without vaccination I am certain I would not feel as well as I do now.
My symptoms would be far worse.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) August 2, 2021
Graham is among the 17 Senate Republicans who voted in favor of advancing the $1.2 trillion so-called “infrastructure” bill through the Senate prior to the bill draft being finalized and made public. The now-released bill, which is 2,702 pages long, includes items sharply criticized by Republicans, such as state-mandated carbon reduction programs and cryptocurrency regulations.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) signaled Monday he does not believe Graham’s inability to be present for voting this week will derail the process of passing the bill. “I don’t think it will, and we’re trying to let it not,” Schumer said, per CNN.
The outlet also captured Manchin answering questions on Monday on Capitol Hill about his boat event. One reporter could be heard questioning Manchin on how long his event lasted, to which the West Virginia Democrat replied, “I don’t know, whatever it takes to eat a hamburger or two”:
“We were outside — and everybody has been vaccinated,” Manchin says when asked if they were wearing masks at the gathering on his boat since Lindsey Graham later tested positive. Manchin has since tested negative. pic.twitter.com/pM9TA3LmTU
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) August 2, 2021
Politico’s Monday morning Playbook featured a photo of people at a distance — who could potentially be some of the senators — grilling on top of Manchin’s houseboat, Almost Heaven, while it was floating in the Wharf in Washington, DC, on Saturday night.
Write to Ashley Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org.