Florida Sen. Rick Scott has tested pos­i­tive for COVID-19

Miami Herald - - Front Page - BY ALEX DAUGH­ERTY AND MICHELLE MARCHANTE adaugh­erty@mc­clatchydc.com mmarchante@mi­ami­her­ald.com

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.

ME­GAN VARNER Getty Images, file 2020

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.