Summary List Placement
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, spoke without a mask at the first confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, 10 days after testing positive for coronavirus.
Lee’s case was one of many linked to Barrett’s nomination ceremony at the White House Rose Garden on Sept. 26, which appears to check all the boxes for a superspreader event.
On Monday, the senator declined to tell reporters if he tested negative for the virus, but tweeted a letter from his doctor declaring him “cleared” to attend the hearing in person despite the ability to make statements and ask questions remotely.
Many of you have expressed concern about my health status. Please do read this letter from the Attending Physician. https://t.co/YGxrkPti2V
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) October 12, 2020
In the letter Lee posted, Dr. Brian Monahan, the attending physician of the Congress, ruled out testing as a factor for the senator’s return to Capitol Hill.
“Based upon current CDC guidelines, you have met criteria to end COVID-19 isolation for those with mild to moderate disease,” Monahan wrote to Lee. “Specifically, it has been greater than 10 days since symptom onset, you have had no fever in absence of fever reducing medication for at least 24 hours, and your other symptoms have improved. The CDC does not recommend repeat SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing if these criteria are met.”
This was echoed by Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security.
“We don’t test people to say they’re non-infectious,” Adalja told Business Insider. “We wait 10 days and say: Are they better? Have their symptoms decreased? Are they not having a fever for the last three days and not taking Tylenol or ibuprofen? And then we release them.”
Lee’s lack of transparency over whether he’s contagious and still testing positive for the virus drew concerns online.
For several minutes before he started speaking, Mike Lee was working maskless in hearing room. He announced today his doctor cleared his return after saying 10 days ago he tested postive for covid. After speaking, he did put his mask on. Senate rules don’t require mask wearing pic.twitter.com/1n34ZN8wzB
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 12, 2020
Sen Mike Lee, R-Utah, is here. (On right in photo.) He had announced a positive COVID test ten days ago.
Also here, WH chief of staff Mark Meadows. pic.twitter.com/oIsVMVcKID
— Lisa Desjardins (@LisaDNews) October 12, 2020
But Senate Judiciary Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham made light of Lee’s coronavirus diagnosis at the conclusion of his opening remarks.
“Well definitely some good news,” said the Republican senator from South Carolina. “Senator Lee’s enthusiasm for the dormant commerce clause convinces me you’ve made a full recovery.”
Morgan McFall-Johnsen contributed to this report.
Join the conversation about this story »
NOW WATCH: Why hurricanes hardly ever hit Europe
Source:: Businessinsider – Politics