SALT LAKE CITY – Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee revealed Friday he was infected with the coronavirus in an announcement that came just hours after President Donald Trump said he had the disease.
The conservative senator plans to isolate for 10 days then return to public life the day the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to begin considering the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
“I will be back to work in time to join my colleagues in advancing” her nomination, Lee wrote.
Lee said he took the test Thursday after getting medical advice about symptoms similar to longtime allergies, according to a statement posted on Twitter.
He visited the White House on Saturday as Trump announced Barrett's nomination, and met with her two days before he started feeling symptoms.
Studies have shown that people may be contagious for about two days prior to developing COVID-19 symptoms and may be most contagious during that time.
Trump disclosed that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive overnight; Lee tweeted his own diagnosis mid-morning Friday. The isolation period comes on the recommendation of the Senate attending physician, Lee said in his statement.
The cases at the highest levels of government have Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer calling for a robust contact tracing effort, including identifying, testing and isolating people who came in close contact with those infected.