Story at a glance

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, with the infection potentially stemming from a gathering on Sen. Joe Manchin’s houseboat.
  • Masking is not required at the U.S. Senate.

Following Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) testing positive for COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated — underscoring the increasing concern of breakthrough infections — sources write that he may have been infected while aboard a houseboat.

The Wall Street Journal notes that the houseboat in question belongs to fellow Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). Graham was attending a bipartisan get-together on Saturday, according to the Journal. 

The South Carolina senator formally announced his diagnosis on Twitter, saying the House physician issued his test and gave him back the results.

“I started having flu-like symptoms Saturday night and went to the doctor this morning,” Graham wrote on Monday. “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.”

He added that he feels like he has a sinus infection and is exhibiting mild symptoms. Graham will quarantine for 10 days to avoid spreading the virus.

Manchin later confirmed that a “few” senators were together on the boat, and all present were vaccinated. 

The rise in breakthrough infections, caused by the highly transmissible delta variant, has forced public health experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to backtrack on mask guidance, recommending it for indoor public facilities in areas of high virus transmission.

New COVID-19 infections have been on the rise for several weeks in all 50 states.

In Congress, the U.S. House of Representatives requires masks be worn while on premises, but the Senate does not. 

Published on Aug 03, 2021