GOP senator attends Barrett hearings in person after COVID-19 diagnosis

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said Monday morning that he plans to attend Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings in person this week, despite testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the month.

Lee said he has been cleared by Congress’s attending physician to show up in the hearing room because he is “no longer contagious.”

“I’m feeling great. Ready to be back in the saddle and excited for today’s hearings to begin. I’ll be participating in person. I’ve gotten the signoff from the Office of the Attending Physician,” he told conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt on Monday.

“I’ve gone through the appropriate number of days and I’ve been keeping my temperature under control and I’m no longer contagious,” he added.

Lee announced on Oct. 2 that he had tested positive for COVID-19, leading to speculation that he would participate in Barrett’s confirmation hearings virtually, as some of his colleagues have chosen to do.

Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.), the Democratic nominee for vice president, will participate remotely because of the outbreak of the virus among Republican colleagues.

Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) also announced they tested positive for the coronavirus this month.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has also placed himself in quarantine as a precaution and plans to take part in Monday’s and Tuesday’s hearings remotely.

Lee showed up in the Hart Senate Office Building hearing room Monday wearing a mask and saying he’ll have immunity from the virus for a while.

“Once you have it, at least for a period of a few months you’re not going to get it again,” he said, adding that his family is “doing great” and is “symptom free.”

Lee said he experienced “most of the symptoms,” including fatigue and fever.

“Sometimes I felt like [how] it might feel to be 98 years old and in a boxing match,” he said.

Lee also said that members of the Senate Judiciary Committee would be seated at least six feet apart from each other for Barrett’s hearings.

Tillis, who is also a member of the Judiciary Committee, was not seen in the hearing room when senators began making their opening statements Monday morning.

Tags Amy Coney Barrett Mike Lee Ron Johnson Supreme Court Ted Cruz Thom Tillis

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