Chuck Grassley, second oldest senator, tests positive for COVID-19

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Washington — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, who at 87 is the second oldest member of the Senate, said in a statement that he had been tested positive for the coronavirus. Grassley announced that he had been exposed to someone with the virus earlier on Tuesday.

“This morning, I learned that I had been exposed to the coronavirus. I received a COVID-19 test and immediately began to quarantine. While I still feel fine, the test came back positive for the coronavirus. I am continuing to follow my doctors’ orders and CDC guidelines,” Grassley said. He added that he would continue to work from home, and said his Senate offices would remain open.

Grassley, the most senior Republican member of the upper chamber, is third in the line of succession to the presidency as the president pro tempore of the Senate. He is also known for his near-perfect voting record, having not missed a vote on the Senate floor in a record 27 years.

In his statement earlier on Tuesday, Grassley said he would “immediately quarantine” as he awaited test results.

“I learned today that I’ve been exposed to the coronavirus. I will follow my doctors’ orders and immediately quarantine as I await my test results,” said Grassley. “I’m feeling well and not currently experiencing any symptoms, but it’s important we all follow public health guidelines to keep each other healthy.”

Grassley did not get tested for the coronavirus after Senator Mike Lee, a fellow member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, tested positive last month.                             

“Sen. Grassley’s doctors have not recommended he be tested as he has not come into close contact with anyone suspected of having or confirmed to have coronavirus,” Grassley’s spokesman, Michael Zona, said in a statement to the Des Moines Register at the time.

Grassley’s announcement comes after Alaska Congressman Don Young, who is also 87, tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Young is currently the longest-serving member of the House.

“I have tested positive for COVID-19. I am feeling strong, following proper protocols, working from home in Alaska, and ask for privacy at this time. May God Bless Alaska,” Young wrote on Twitter.

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