GOP Sen. Mike Lee tests positive for coronavirus

Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOvernight Energy: Colonial Pipeline says it has restored full service | Biden urges people not to panic about gasoline shortages | EPA rescinds Trump-era cost-benefit rule Senate panel advances Biden's deputy Interior pick Hillicon Valley: Global cybersecurity leaders say they feel unprepared for attack | Senate Commerce Committee advances Biden's FTC nominee Lina Khan | Senate panel approves bill that would invest billions in tech MORE (R-Utah) said on Friday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus, news that came as the nation was reeling from President TrumpDonald TrumpVirginia GOP gubernatorial nominee acknowledges Biden was 'legitimately' elected Biden meets with DACA recipients on immigration reform Overnight Health Care: States begin lifting mask mandates after new CDC guidance | Walmart, Trader Joe's will no longer require customers to wear masks | CDC finds Pfizer, Moderna vaccines 94 percent effective in health workers MORE's own coronavirus diagnosis. 

Lee, the third senator known to have tested positive for COVID-19, said in a statement he took a coronavirus test on Thursday after experiencing symptoms similar to those he has had for longtime allergies. 

"Unlike the test I took just a few days ago while visiting the White House, yesterday's test came back positive. On advice of the Senate attending physician, I will remain isolated for the next 10 days," Lee said in a statement. 


Lee's announcement comes just hours after Trump disclosed that he and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpHere's why Joe Biden polls well, but Kamala Harris does not Jill Biden a key figure in push to pitch White House plans Petition calls for Jill Biden to undo Trump-era changes to White House Rose Garden MORE have tested positive for the coronavirus. Lee was at the White House on Saturday. 

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP lawmaker calls for Wuhan probe to 'prevent the next pandemic' All congressional Democrats say they have been vaccinated: CNN Fauci on Rand Paul: 'I just don't understand what the problem is with him' MORE (R-Ky.) in late March was the first senator to announce that he had tested positive for COVID-19, followed by Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyUtah county GOP censures Romney over Trump impeachment vote Amazon blocks 10B listings in crackdown on counterfeits Cassidy on pipeline cyberattack: Congress must equip businesses with defenses against incursions MORE (R-La.) in August.


Democratic Sens. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyA historic moment to truly honor mothers Democrats face big headaches on Biden's T spending plan The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - GOP makes infrastructure play; Senate passes Asian hate crimes bill MORE (Pa.) and Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineSenate Democrats ramp up push to limit Biden's war powers Sweeping election reform bill faces Senate buzz saw How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force MORE (Va.) have both said they tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, suggesting they were previously exposed to the virus. 

Lee, who previously quarantined in March because of Paul's diagnosis, has been in the Capitol this week. He met with Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, on Tuesday, took part in closed-door GOP caucus lunches and was at the Senate Judiciary Committee's business meeting on Thursday. 

His disclosure that he has tested positive will likely add new urgency to the ongoing discussion about setting up routine testing in the Capitol. Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden 'encouraged' by meeting with congressional leaders on infrastructure Republicans welcome the chance to work with Democrats on a bipartisan infrastructure bill Cheney sideshow distracts from important battle over Democrats' partisan voting bill MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a separate statement on Friday that Trump's diagnosis underscored the need for testing in the Capitol, and House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerWhat's a party caucus chair worth? House fails to pass drug bill amid Jan. 6 tensions Cheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP MORE (D-Md.) and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGohmert says Jan. 6 mob attack on Capitol not an 'armed insurrection' Meghan McCain: Greene 'behaving like an animal' GOP Rep. Turner to lead House push to address military sexual assault MORE (D-Calif.) also discussed the issue on Friday. 

Lee is on the Judiciary Committee, which is expected to start its hearing for Barrett's confirmation on Oct. 12. Lee, in his statement, said he would return to the Senate in time to vote on her nomination on Oct. 22. With Republicans holding a 12-10 majority, if Lee is absent the party will need every member present and voting to send the nomination to the floor. 

"I have spoken with Leader McConnell and Chairman Graham and assured them I will be back to work in time to join my Judiciary Committee colleagues in advancing the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the committee and then to the full Senate," Lee said. 


Both McConnell and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP governors move to cut unemployment benefits as debate rages over effects Trump critics push new direction for GOP Graham warns about trying to 'drive' Trump from GOP: 'Half the people will leave' MORE (R-S.C.) indicated on Friday that they plan to move forward with Barrett's nomination as planned. 

"Just finished a great phone call with @POTUS. He’s in good spirits and we talked business — especially how impressed Senators are with the qualifications of Judge Barrett," McConnell tweeted. "Full steam ahead with the fair, thorough, timely process that the nominee, the Court, & the country deserve." 

--Updated at 3:28 p.m.