House

Rep. Ralph Norman tests positive for COVID-19 despite vaccination

Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) addresses reporters during a press conference on July 1 to introduce legislation to limit Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's donations.
Greg Nash

Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) announced Thursday that he tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated.

“After experiencing minor symptoms this morning, I sought a COVID-19 test and was just informed the tests results were positive. Thankfully, I have been fully vaccinated and my symptoms remain mild,” Norman wrote in a statement.

He said he will quarantine for the next 10 days and continue to work virtually.

Norman is now the second known lawmaker on Capitol Hill to test positive for COVID-19 despite being fully inoculated.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced Monday that he tested positive for the virus despite completing his vaccination series.

The two “breakthrough” cases, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define as people who test positive for the virus despite being fully vaccinated, come as concerns are growing regarding the highly infectious delta variant, which has taken hold in the U.S. as the dominant coronavirus strain.

Health experts, however, have emphasized that breakthrough cases are still rare and typically cause milder symptoms or asymptomatic cases. The majority of recent hospitalizations and deaths have been unvaccinated individuals.

Graham, in his statement, said if he wasn’t vaccinated “my symptoms would be far worse.”

Norman, along with other GOP representatives, was fined $500 in May for not wearing a face covering on the House floor, according to The Associated Press. At the time, the chamber’s mask mandate for the floor was still in effect.

The members challenged the fines in June, contending that the punishment was not in line with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which said that fully vaccinated people can nix face coverings indoors. An aide at the time said the congressman was vaccinated, according to NBC News.

The House Ethics Committee, however, announced last month that Norman’s appeal, along with that of Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), had failed.

Coronavirus infections have been on the rise in recent weeks driven largely by the variant, which spreads more easily than other strains of the virus.

The cases have mainly affected areas of the country with low vaccination rates.

Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, said last month that more than 99 percent of the people who died from COVID-19 in June were not vaccinated.

CNN conducted a survey in May which found that 97 of the 211 Republicans in the House said they were vaccinated against COVID-19. All members of the Democratic caucus said they had received their shots.

In the Senate, all Democrats are fully inoculated and at least 92 percent of Republicans were at the time.

The House reinstated its mask mandate last month, after the CDC recommended that people vaccinated against COVID-19 should wear masks indoors in high-risk areas.

Tags Anthony Fauci Joe Biden Lindsey Graham Marjorie Taylor Greene Ralph Norman Thomas Massie
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