Sen. Rick Scott tests positive for COVID-19

Sen. Rick Scott talks about legislation on Capitol Hill.
Sen. Rick Scott talks about legislation on Capitol Hill.(CNN)
Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 9:33 AM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Friday morning, Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott released a statement saying he tested positive for COVID-19. According to his office, the senator came into contact with someone after returning to Florida on Friday evening. That person later tested positive for the virus. The statement said that Scott had been quarantining at his home in Naples since that exposure.

The statement says: “After several negative tests, I learned I was positive this morning. 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. Wear a mask. Social distance. Quarantine if you come in contact with someone positive like I did. 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.”

Earlier this week, Iowa GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley tested positive for the virus. At 87 years old, he’s the second-oldest senator and the longest-serving Republican senator. At least 31 lawmakers have also been diagnosed with the virus or have been presumed COVID-19 positive.

Just last week, Scott was elected chairman of National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Senate GOP’s group dedicated to winning Senate races at a time when the party maintains a razor-thin majority in the upper chamber. With Georgia’s two Senate runoffs slated for Jan. 5, the Democrats have a chance to flip those seats blue. That would create a tie in the Senate, meaning Vice President-elect Kamala Harris could be a tie-breaking vote on key legislative issues.

Scott’s role on Capitol Hill is quickly growing in prominence, as he just joined Congress last year. He previously served as Governor of Florida for two terms, and then went on to win Florida’s highly-competitive Senate race in November 2018 against incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson.

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