sen. Brain Schatz (D-Hawaii) announced Thursday that he tested positive for COVID-19 this week, a development that could delay Democrats’ renewed push for voting reform.
Schatz, who has been fully vaccinated and boosted, said he is asymptomatic and is self-isolating at home. He expects to be able to return to work ‘soon’.
“Earlier this week I tested positive with a breakthrough case of COVID-19. Luckily I am fully vaccinated, boosted and asymptomatic. I followed CDC guidelines and isolated at home. I am in consultation with the treating physician’s office and expect to be back soon,” Schatz wrote in a statement.
News of Schatz’s breakthrough case comes amid a concerted push from… President BidenJoe BidenGallego on January 6 rioters: ‘F — she’ Psaki: Why is the GOP afraid of presidential debates? Biden calls on employers to mandate vaccines despite Supreme Court ruling LAKE and Democratic leaders for electoral reform and to change Senate rules on legislative filibuster to pass legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer
The Senate needs 50 votes to change the rules, meaning Schatz’s positive COVID-19 test and the absence of the Capitol put pressure from Democrats at risk.
However, other than Schatz’s absence, the Democratic caucus faces hurdles in changing Senate rules to pass voting rights legislation. sen. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaManchin says it will not vote to ‘eliminate or weaken the filibuster’ Democracy is on livelihood – and the GOP wants to pull the plug Biden: ‘I don’t know if we can make this happen’ LAKE (D-Ariz.) reiterated her support for the filibuster Thursday, effectively crushing Democrats’ hopes for reform.
sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinManchin says it will not vote to ‘eliminate or weaken the filibuster’ Democracy is on livelihood – and the GOP wants to pull the plug Biden: ‘I don’t know if we can make this happen’ LAKE (DW.Va.) has also previously said he is against changing Senate rules to pass voting rights legislation.
Manchin told reporters on Thursday that Sinema’s speech was “excellent”, adding: “I think it’s the points I’ve been making for a long time and so are they.”
A number of congressional lawmakers have tested positive for COVID-19 breakthrough cases in recent weeks, including Reps. Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulsen. Brian Schatz tests positive for COVID-19 Congress restores strict health protocols during ommicron-fed wave Overnight Defense & National Security – US, Russia face-to-face LAKE (R-Texas) and Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-Cortezsen. Brian Schatz tests positive for COVID-19 Democrats Call on FDA to Revise Ban on Gay, Bisexual Men Donating Blood Due to Shortage Senate Democrats Introduce Bill to Ban Stock Trading in Congress LAKE (DN.Y.).
Capitol physician Brian Monahan revealed last week that the U.S. Capitol’s seven-day average positivity rate increased less than 1 percent to over 13 percent. Most cases have been diagnosed in vaccinated individuals.
New infections have increased nationwide as the US grapples with the highly transmissible variant of omicron. However, early reports suggest that the new variant causes less severe disease in vaccinated individuals.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that while breakthrough cases are “expected,” they typically cause less severe illness compared to infections in unvaccinated individuals.