Florida Sen. Rick Scott has tested positive for COVID-19
Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott tested positive for COVID-19, his office announced Friday, making him the second U.S. senator to test positive this week as cases surge across the country.
In a statement, Scott, 67,
Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott announced the test result on Twitter but said he is ‘feeling good.’
said he was experiencing mild symptoms. He has been in self-quarantine at his home in Naples since Saturday after coming into contact with an individual who tested positive, though he did not register a positive test himself until six days later.
“After several negative tests, I learned I was positive
this morning,” Scott said in a statement. “I am feeling good and experiencing very mild symptoms. I will be working from home in Naples until it is safe for me to return to Washington, D.C. I want to remind everyone to be careful and do the right things to protect yourselves and others.”
Scott’s absence in Washington this week helped sink, at least temporarily, President Donald Trump’s Federal Reserve Board nominee Judy Shelton, who faced opposition from Democrats and enough Republicans for her nomination to fail in Scott’s absence. Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, the president pro tempore of the
Senate and third in the line of presidential succession, also tested positive for COVID-19 this week.
In addition to Scott and Grassley, at least four members of the House of Representatives tested positive this week, a potential public-health risk as lawmakers travel across the country to work in Washington and are often in close proximity to one another and their staffs while on Capitol Hill. The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is allowing lawmakers to cast a proxy vote during the pandemic, while the Republican-controlled Senate is not.
In his statement, Scott did not encourage people to stay home for the holidays, as the CDC recommended on Thursday amid rising case counts nationwide, but he did urge Floridians to take other measures, including wearing masks, something that many Republican politicians have not done at events across the state.
“Wear a mask. Social distance. Quarantine if you come in contact with someone positive like I did,” Scott said. “As we approach Thanksgiving, we know this holiday will
be different this year. But, listen to public health officials and follow their guidance. We will beat this together, but we all have to be responsible. I
want to thank all the incredible health care workers who are working around the clock to care for patients and I pray that by next Thanksgiving,
COVID-19 will be a thing of the past.”
On Nov. 13, Scott attended an indoor campaign rally for Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler. It did
not include universal mask-wearing or social distancing. He did not wear a mask when speaking to the crowd. Loeffler is one of Georgia’s two
Republican senators in runoff elections that will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate.
Scott’s office said the senator’s contact with an individual who tested positive was on Nov. 13, after the event with Loeffler and after Scott traveled home to Florida.
His office said he had rapid tests that came back negative until a PCR test that he took on Tuesday came back positive on Friday morning.
Scott is the seventh U.S. senator to test positive for the coronavirus since March, while three other senators tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, meaning they likely had the virus at some point. The Republican-controlled Senate has refused to take up a coronavirus-relief bill passed by the Democraticcontrolled House of Representatives, and major legislation is unlikely before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in om Jan. 20.
In Florida, 17,889 residents have died from COVID-19 since March 1, while more than 923,000 people have tested positive through Friday, according to data from the Florida Department of Health.
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., did not encourage people to stay home for the holidays, as the CDC recommended on Thursday amid rising case counts nationwide, but he did urge Floridians to wear masks.