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Second GOP Senator On Judiciary Committee To Self-Isolate After Positive COVID-19 Test

“Any senator who wants to participate” in SCOTUS hearings “virtually will be allowed to do so,” said Chairman Lindsey Graham on Friday.
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 09: Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing "to examine COVID-19 fraud, focusing on law enforcement's response to those exploiting the pandemic" on Capitol Hill on June 09, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Erin Schaff-Pool via Getty Images

North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis (R), one of the twelve GOP senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee, will be self-isolating at home for the next ten days after testing positive for coronavirus on Friday evening.

In a statement posted to Twitter, Tillis said that he hasn’t been experiencing any symptoms but tested positive following a routine test, which he said he has been taking regularly over the last few months. He said his most recent negative test was Saturday.

“As we all know, COVID-19 is a very contagious and deadly virus, especially because many carriers are asymptomatic. I encourage all North Carolinians to follow the recommendations of medical experts, including wearing a mask, washing hands, and practicing social distancing,” he said.

The North Carolina senator is the second member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will oversee the nomination hearings of Judge Amy Coney Barrett in less than two weeks, to announce a positive coronavirus test on Friday.

Earlier in the day, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) revealed that he had tested positive for coronavirus after experiencing symptoms he believed were “consistent with longtime allergies.” The senator said he would self-isolate at home for the next ten days, and looked forward to returning to work in time for Barrett’s hearings.

The developments also come as President Donald Trump has been admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after testing positive for coronavirus in what the White House has described as a precautionary measure.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the chairman of the judiciary committee, took to Twitter on Friday evening, before Tillis announced his positive coronavirus test, to say that he looks forward to holding nomination hearings for Barrett beginning on October 12.

“Any Senator who wants to participate virtually will be allowed to do so,” Graham said in the tweet.

Graham has previously said that he plans to have Barrett out of the committee hearings process by October 26, at which point the process would be left to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has said he plans to hold a vote for the nominee.

As The Daily Wire previously reported, Senate Democrats, who have called for the nomination process to wait until after the winner of the presidential election is sworn in, tried to push back the nomination process on Friday, with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) suggesting that the president’s positive coronavirus test warranted delaying the hearings for the time being. The Democratic duo also cited Lee’s positive coronavirus test as reason to delay, and the need for a contact tracing plan in light of the president’s positive coronavirus test.

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