DES MOINES — U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley tweeted Monday that he continues “feeling good” after testing positive for COVID-19 last week and plans to be back at work next week in the Senate.
Grassley, 87, has indicated he is isolating at his home in the Washington, D.C., area due to a positive coronavirus test Nov. 17, and his staff reports that anyone who may have been potentially exposed by the senator “has been notified and recommended to follow CDC and other public health guidelines.”
However, Grassley spokesman Michael Zona did not answer questions about how contract tracing had indicated the senator became exposed.
“No update on that,” Zona said in an email.
“Determining with certainty how infection occurred is extremely difficult. And speculating would be irresponsible, especially if it involved divulging information about a private citizen’s personal health. That would be highly inappropriate for a government office,” Zona added in a later email response.
Before the Nov. 3 election, Grassley was campaigning for Republican candidates, including joining Gov. Kim Reynolds, U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst and then-U. S. House District 1 candidate Ashley Hinson on Nov. 2 in Cedar Rapids. Ernst and Hinson, who were on the ballot, won election.
Hinson announced Nov. 12 she had contracted COVID-19. She isolated at home, and late this past week said she had completed her isolation and has been cleared to travel.
A spokesman for Reynolds said she tested negative this past week and has not shown any symptoms of the virus.
Ernst’s office did not respond to an email asking when she was last tested for the virus.
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In Monday’s Twitter message, Grassley expressed thanks for the continued support he is receiving, adding that “I’m still feeling good + am keeping up on my reading & work from home. I look fwd to being back in the Senate next wk after thanksgiving.”
Grassley, who is in his seventh Senate term dating to 1981 and currently serves as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is the oldest Republican member of the U.S. Senate. He is Senate president pro tempore, which places him third in the presidential line of succession behind the vice president and speaker of the U.S. House.
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Erin Murphy of The Gazette-Lee Des Moines Bureau contributed.
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