Rep. Bobby Rush latest member of Congress to catch COVID



At least 11 members of Congress have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days after Rep. Bobby Rush announced late Monday he had a “breakthrough case” of the virus.

“Today, after being notified of a recent exposure, I tested positive with a breakthrough case of COVID-19,” the 75-year-old Rush (D-Ill.) wrote on Twitter. “Fortunately, I am fully vaccinated and recently received my booster shot. I am feeling fine and currently have no symptoms.” 

“I will be quarantining and following the latest guidance from the @CDCgov and @ChiPublicHealth,” Rush added. “As cases rise and the Omicron variant spreads throughout the nation, I encourage everyone who has not yet done so to get vaccinated and get boosted as soon as possible.”

At least 10 other lawmakers have announced their own positive tests for COVID-19 since Dec. 19, with all saying they were experiencing mild or no symptoms.

On Thursday, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) disclosed that he had the virus, tweeting that he was experiencing “minimal symptoms.” 

One day earlier, Reps. Antonio Delgado (D-NY) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) as well as House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) also announced that they had tested positive for COVID-19. 

Rush's Tweet about his diagnosis.
Rush announced his diagnosis via Twitter.

Clyburn described himself as “asymptomatic” in a statement on Twitter announcing his test result.

“America is in a new phase of this pandemic. No one is immune,” he wrote. “I urge anyone who has not done so to protect themselves by getting vaccinated and boosted.”

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), as well as Reps. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.), Jason Crow (D-Colo.), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), also announced positive tests with mild symptoms.

Congress is still in recess for the holidays and the House is not scheduled to reconvene until Jan. 10. The Senate is scheduled to be back in session a week earlier.  

The breakthrough cases come amid the latest spike in COVID-19 infections around Christmas and the New Year. Omicron, the most recent variant of the virus, is believed to be behind the massive surge as it is more easily transmissible. 

Last week, the Biden administration announced several steps to combat the case surge — including opening new federal testing sites and mailing half a billion at-home COVID test kits to those who request them starting next month.


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