Romney tests positive for coronavirus

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) tested positive for a breakthrough case of COVID-19, his office said in a statement on Friday.

“Senator Romney tested positive today for COVID-19. He is currently asymptomatic and will be isolating and working remotely for the recommended period of time,” his office said. “Mrs. Romney has tested negative. Both Senator and Mrs. Romney have been fully vaccinated and boosted against the virus.”

Several dozen lawmakers in both the House and Senate, almost all of whom were vaccinated, have tested positive for COVID-19 since last summer. 

Some of the lawmakers who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month included Reps. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Ben Cline (R-Va.), John Katko (R-N.Y.), Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.).

The United States is still reporting daily COVID-19 cases in the hundreds of thousands, including over 570,000 infections reported on Thursday, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Earlier this week, President Biden’s chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said that he was confident that most states would see COVID-19 cases peak in mid-February.

“You never want to be overconfident when you’re dealing with this virus,” Fauci said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.” “But if you look at the patterns that we’ve seen in South Africa, in the U.K. and in Israel … they have peaked and [are] starting to come down rather sharply.”

While evidence increasingly suggests that the omicron variant is less likely that delta to cause severe illness or death, the United States this week saw the average number of COVID-19 deaths outpace the delta surge’s peak from last September. 

Separately, the Supreme Court earlier this month blocked the Biden administration vaccine-or-test mandate that would have applied to businesses with at least 100 employees, which officials early on said would prevent at least 250,000 hospitalizations and thousands of deaths.

It served as a stinging defeat for the Biden administration as officials try to further curb the COVID-19 pandemic.