Chuck Grassley, Oldest GOP Senator at 87, Diagnosed with COVID-19


Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa announced Tuesday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Grassley, 87, is among the longest-serving members of the Senate and chairs the Senate Finance Committee. He is the second-oldest senator, trailing only Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who is also 87.

Grassley announced his positive test in a tweet and also through a statement released by his office.

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“I’ve tested positive for coronavirus. I’ll b following my doctors’ orders/CDC guidelines & continue to quarantine. I’m feeling good + will keep up on my work for the ppl of Iowa from home. I appreciate everyone’s well wishes + prayers &look fwd to resuming my normal schedule soon,” he wrote.

Grassley used his statement to urge his constituents to follow guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.

“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,” the senator said.

The positive test meant that a record-breaking Senate streak has ended. Grassley was absent on Tuesday, which meant he missed his first vote in 27 years.

“Known for his reputation for hard work and constituent service, Senator Grassley holds the longest consecutive voting streak in Senate history. Senator Grassley hasn’t missed a vote since 1993, when he was in Iowa helping constituents respond to the devastating flooding,” his official website bio reads.

“I’m disappointed I wasn’t able to vote today in the Senate, but the health of others is more important than any record. My voting streak reflects how seriously I take my commitment to represent Iowans. Choosing not to potentially expose others to this deadly virus is obviously the right and responsible thing to do,” Grassley said in an earlier Tuesday statement.

“While I await the results of my coronavirus test, I’m continuing to work for Iowans from home. After my quarantine ends, I’ll be back in the Senate to represent Iowans and vote on their behalf. I urge my fellow Iowans and all Americans to follow public health guidelines for their own sake and for the sake of their friends, families and communities.”

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Prior to announcing his positive test, Grassley had urged his constituents to use common sense as they make holiday plans and go about their lives amid a resurgence of cases across the nation.

Spokesperson Michael Zona said Grassley will be participating in most Senate business aside from voting and that his staffers have been following all standard coronavirus protocols.

“Those who have been in contact with Sen. Grassley have been appropriately notified and are instructed to follow the advice of their physicians as well as all CDC and local health guidelines,” Zona said in an email to the Des Moines Register.

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