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Sen. Ron Johnson tests positive for coronavirus

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonSenators battle over Supreme Court nominee in rare Saturday session Sunday shows preview: Trump, Biden gear up for final sprint to Election Day Two Loeffler staffers test positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Wis.) has tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the third senator to announce in the past two days that they had contracted the virus.

Johnson’s office said in a statement on Saturday that he was exposed to an individual on Sept. 29 who has since tested positive for the virus.

“After learning of this exposure, the senator was tested yesterday afternoon. This test came back positive,” his office said. “Senator Johnson feels healthy and is not experiencing symptoms. He will remain isolated until given the all-clear by his doctor."

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Johnson’s diagnosis comes as the country is reeling after President TrumpDonald John TrumpFox News president, top anchors advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: report Six notable moments from Trump and Biden's '60 Minutes' interviews Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought '9/11 attack was 7/11 attack' MORE announced that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. He is now at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, a move the White House said was being taken “out of an abundance of caution.”

In addition to Johnson, Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeePence adviser Marty Obst tests positive for COVID-19 Two Loeffler staffers test positive for COVID-19 End the American military presence in Somalia MORE (R-Utah) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisBiden and Trump neck and neck in three Southern states: poll 10 under-the-radar races to watch in November Pence adviser Marty Obst tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-N.C.) both said on Friday that they had tested positive for COVID-19.

Unlike Lee and Tillis, Johnson is not a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and was not at the White House on Saturday for Trump’s announcement that he was picking Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee. 

Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseSweden bans use of Huawei, ZTE equipment in new 5G networks McConnell aims for unity amid growing divisions with Trump Cornyn: Relationships with Trump like 'women who get married and think they're going to change their spouse' MORE (R-Neb.), who was at the White House on Saturday, tested negative on Friday but a spokesman said that he would work remotely from Nebraska until Oct. 12 and receive further testing.

The absence of the four GOP senators caps Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate Democrats hold talkathon to protest Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Trump looms over Ernst's tough reelection fight in Iowa Democratic senator votes against advancing Amy Coney Barrett nomination while wearing RBG mask MORE's (R-Ky.) normal 53-47 majority at 49 senators.

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Before Friday, only two senators had been known to test positive for the virus: Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTwo Loeffler staffers test positive for COVID-19 Michigan Republican isolating after positive coronavirus test GOP Rep. Mike Bost tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Ky.) and Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyTwo Loeffler staffers test positive for COVID-19 Michigan Republican isolating after positive coronavirus test GOP Rep. Mike Bost tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-La.), in March and August, respectively. 

Democratic Sens. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocratic Senate emerges as possible hurdle for progressives  Two Loeffler staffers test positive for COVID-19 Democrats have no case against Amy Coney Barrett — but that won't stop them MORE (Va.) and Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseySenate Democrats hold talkathon to protest Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Two Loeffler staffers test positive for COVID-19 Healthcare, retirement security seen as top issues for older voters, lawmakers say MORE (Pa.) previously said they had tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, an indication they had previously been exposed to the virus.

The uptick in cases in the Senate will likely pour fuel on already simmering frustrations about the lack of a formal testing program in Congress.

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBrown says Biden's first moves as president should be COVID relief, voting rights Sunday shows - Spotlight shifts to positive tests among Pence aides Pelosi dismisses talk of White House compromise on stimulus: They 'keep moving the goal post' MORE (D-Calif.) and McConnell previously rejected an offer from the White House to have rapid testing at the Capitol, saying at the time that they wanted to keep resources directed to front-line workers.

But several lawmakers on Friday urged congressional leaders to establish a testing program in the Capitol, where lawmakers, who travel back to their home states on the weekend, stay in close contact with each other, their staff and a scaled-back group of reporters.

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“This episode demonstrates that the Senate needs a testing and contact tracing program for Senators, staff, and all who work in the Capitol complex. We simply cannot allow the administration's cavalier attitude to adversely affect this branch of government," Senate Minority Charles SchumerChuck SchumerGraham dismisses criticism from Fox Business's Lou Dobbs Lewandowski: Trump 'wants to see every Republican reelected regardless of ... if they break with the president' Democratic Senate emerges as possible hurdle for progressives  MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a statement. 

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphySenate Democrats hold talkathon to protest Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Murphy says US would be 'better off' if Trump admin 'did nothing' on coronavirus Democratic Senate emerges as possible hurdle for progressives  MORE (D-Conn.) added that McConnell should require testing for every senator who attended the White House event, saying the potential exposure “could pose a major threat to the safety of the Capitol complex.”

“Furthermore, Senator McConnell needs to finally move forward with a mandatory mask policy in the Capitol complex and implementation of a regular testing program for all Senators and all Senate staff,” he added. 

McConnell, however, gave no signal while speaking in Kentucky on Friday that he intends to either change the Senate’s schedule until the risk of potential exposure is known, or establish a formal testing program.

McConnell, during the event at a Kentucky hospital, also declined to say if he had been tested this week. 

“We're following the advice of the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] CDC in how we operate the Senate and so far we've been able to do it quite successfully,” McConnell said when asked about a formal testing regime. 

-- Updated at 10 a.m.