GOP Sen. Mike Lee tests positive for coronavirus

Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeRepublicans wrestle over removing Trump Lawmakers, leaders offer condolences following the death of Capitol Police officer GOP senators urging Trump officials to not resign after Capitol chaos 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 TrumpFacebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP Section 230 worked after the insurrection, but not before: How to regulate social media 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 TrumpMelania Trump bids farewell to Be Best in new video Garth Brooks, Joan Baez among this year's Kennedy Center honorees Melania Trump says she was 'disappointed and disheartened' watching Capitol riots MORE have tested positive for the coronavirus. Lee was at the White House on Saturday. 

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulMcConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time Legislatures boost security after insurrection, FBI warnings Former Missouri senator says backing Hawley was 'worst mistake of my life' 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 CassidyMcConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time Senator releases photos of man wanted in connection with Capitol riot Electoral College fight splits GOP as opposition grows to election challenge MORE (R-La.) in August.


Democratic Sens. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyDemocrats looking to speed through Senate impeachment trial Capitol Police officer hailed as hero for drawing rioters away from Senate chamber Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect MORE (Pa.) and Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael Kaine'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack 7 surprise moments from a tumultuous year in politics Robert E. Lee statue removed from US Capitol 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 and the new Congress must protect Americans from utility shutoffs 'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate Democrats looking to speed through Senate impeachment trial 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 HoyerBoebert communications director resigns amid Capitol riot: report GOP divided over Liz Cheney's future Pelosi mum on when House will send impeachment article to Senate MORE (D-Md.) and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMissouri woman seen with Pelosi sign charged in connection with Capitol riots Boebert communications director resigns amid Capitol riot: report Revising the pardon power — let the Speaker and Congress have voices 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 GrahamImpeachment trial tests Trump's grip on Senate GOP An attack on America that's divided Congress — and a nation The Hill's Morning Report - Biden asks Congress to expand largest relief response in U.S. history 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.