Chuck Grassley

GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley, 87, Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Stefani Reynolds | Bloomberg | Getty Images
  • Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has tested positive for coronavirus.
  • The lawmaker, who at 87 years old is considered at high risk for severe illness, tweeted Tuesday that he tested positive hours after he said he would isolate following exposure to the virus.
  • Grassley, who is president pro tempore of the Senate, presided over the chamber during votes Monday.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has tested positive for coronavirus.

The lawmaker, who at 87 years old is considered at high risk for severe illness, tweeted Tuesday that he tested positive hours after he said he would isolate following contact with someone who had been infected.

Grassley, who is president pro tempore of the Senate, presided over the chamber during votes Monday. He is high up in the presidential line of succession, behind Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Grassley is the second oldest senator, a few months younger than California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, who is also 87.

The Republican said he feels "fine" and will work from home.

While isolating after exposure to the virus, Grassley missed the Tuesday vote on Judy Shelton's nomination to the Federal Reserve. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., also was not at the Capitol for the procedural vote as he isolated due to Covid-19 exposure. Shelton's nomination failed after three other Republicans announced their opposition.

The virus has taken its toll in Congress as it infects a record number of people around the country. Grassley becomes the sixth senator to test positive for Covid-19.

At least three House members have tested positive this month. They include 87-year-old Don Young, the longest serving lawmaker in the chamber.

Grassley's home state of Iowa has endured one of the country's worst coronavirus outbreaks as measured by per capita infections. The state most recently reported 2,071 cases, an increase of about 17% from a week before, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

Here is the full release from Grassley's office:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley has tested positive for COVID-19 after learning earlier today of an exposure to the coronavirus.

"This morning, I learned that I had been exposed to the coronavirus. I received a COVID-19 test and immediately began to quarantine. While I still feel fine, the test came back positive for the coronavirus. I am continuing to follow my doctors' orders and CDC guidelines. I'll be keeping up on my work for the people of Iowa from home. I appreciate everyone's well wishes and prayers, and look forward to resuming my normal schedule when I can. In the meantime, my offices across Iowa and in Washington remain open and ready to serve Iowans," Grassley said.

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