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Sen. Mike Lee tests positive for COVID-19

Posted at 9:47 AM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-02 19:31:23-04

WASHINGTON — Utah Sen. Mike Lee announced Friday that he has tested positive for COVID-19 following a trip to the White House.

In a statement released on Twitter, Lee said he experienced symptoms Thursday morning and took a test per the advice of his doctor. The Senator said his symptoms were "consistent with longtime allergies."

The announcement comes just hours after the news that President Trump and the First Lady had also tested positive for the coronavirus.

On Tuesday, Lee spent time at the White House where he met with Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett and fellow Utah Senator Mitt Romney.

In his Twitter statement, Lee said he had been tested for the virus while at the White House and his results were negative.

Lee and Barrett sat in chairs that were distanced several feet apart but took a photo before the meeting in which they were closer together. He also spoke to reporters after the meeting, removing his mask in front of the cameras as most lawmakers generally do.

A White House spokesperson told FOX News Barrett was tested for the virus again Friday morning and received a negative result.

A spokesperson on behalf of Senator Romney told FOX 13 that he had not been tested for the virus because there was no known risk of exposure. However, they said they are continuing to monitor the Senator and those close to him for symptoms.

Supreme Court Barrett and Sen. Mike Lee
Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, meets with Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, at the Capitol, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020 in Washington. (Stefani Reynolds/Pool via AP)

Video taken at the announcement of Barrett's nomination on Sept. 26 showed Lee hugging and kissing other people while foregoing a mask. Lee says he took a test at the White House event and was negative.

Sen. Mike Lee seen hugging and kissing people without mask

Lee, who is in Washington, DC, said he will remain isolated for the next 10 days. He also assured his colleagues he would be back in time to help advance Judge Barrett’s nomination.

"Like so many other Utahns, I will now spend part of 2020 working from home." said Lee in his statement. "I have spoken with Leader McConnell and Chairman Graham, and assured them I will be back to work in time to join my Judiciary Committee colleagues in advancing the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the Committee and then to the full Senate."

In a tweet of his own, Romney wished Lee a speedy recovery, but added that he encourages all Utahns to continue to follow public health guidelines, "including wearing masks and practicing proper social distancing."

Utah Representative Ben McAdams also expressed well wishes to Senator Lee.

In an interview with FOX13, McAdams said he hoped this would serve as a reminder.

“I think it’s a reminder for all of us that the virus is still with us, we still need to be careful, we need to follow the recommendations or our governor and our public health officials to be careful, to practice good social distancing, to wear a mask and sanitize our hands and do everything that they’re advising us to do because this is still serious, it’s still with us and people are still at risk,” said McAdams.