Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah said Friday he tested positive for coronavirus—an announcement that came just three days after he met—indoors and maskless—with Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court justice nominee.
Lee posted the news on Twitter, saying the positive result was from a test on Thursday. He also indicated he took a Covid-19 test "a few days ago while visiting the White House," and that that test had come back negative.
The Utah Republican met with Coney Barrett on Tuesday. A photo released by his office shows the two not following public health recommendations by standing clearly less than six feet apart from each other and not wearing face masks.
I was remarkably impressed by Judge Barrett. My meeting with her was fantastic. She is a judge, a legal scholar, and a lawyer with outstanding credentials. We had a great conversation and I am very much looking forward to speaking with her more during her confirmation hearing. pic.twitter.com/rfGt717PlW— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) September 29, 2020
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President Donald Trump also announced Friday he and First Lady Melania Trump were infected with the coronavirus, just a day after one of his top aides, Hope Hicks, tested positive.
The president's diagnosis—described by The New Republic's Alex Shephard as "the ultimate, inevitable end of his administration's disastrous response to a global pandemic"— was not taken by Republicans as a roadblock to filling the seat held by the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The National Journal's Zachary Cohen reported that a White House spokesperson said Coney Barrett tested negative for Covid-19 on Friday and the she had not been with the president since Saturday.
"She is following CDC guidance and best practices," the spokesperon said, "including social distancing, wearing face coverings, and frequently washes hands."
On Friday, ahead of Lee's announcement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated his party's intention to plow "full steam ahead" with advancing Coney Barrett's nomination.