Sens. Hickenlooper, King and Wicker diagnosed with COVID-19

The senators were tested after experiencing mild symptoms

Sen. Angus King has tested positive for COVID-19.  (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Sen. Angus King has tested positive for COVID-19. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Posted August 19, 2021 at 2:32pm

Three senators announced Thursday that they had breakthrough cases of COVID-19.

Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Angus King, I-Maine, separately released statements in the early afternoon saying they are quarantining after receiving positive COVID-19 tests. Sen. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., said the same about two hours later.

Wicker and King said they are fully vaccinated; Hickenlooper similarly said he is "grateful for the vaccine" for limiting his symptoms.

Wicker’s spokesman Phillip Waller said the senator got tested after experiencing mild symptoms, and King said he sought one after feeling mildly feverish.

“While I am not feeling great, I’m definitely feeling much better than I would have without the vaccine,” King said.

"I’m feeling much better and will continue to isolate," Hickenlooper said in a statement.

The Senate left D.C. last week for August recess after voting on a bipartisan infrastructure bill and the fiscal 2022 budget resolution that includes budget reconciliation instructions.

COVID-19 cases had slowed among lawmakers since the winter, when many were vaccinated. But more of the nation’s elected representatives have announced positive tests this summer as cases have surged again in many areas and the more infectious delta variant has become the dominant strain.

Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was the first senator to announce a breakthrough case earlier this month. Several other senators then sought out tests because they had congregated a few days earlier on West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin III’s houseboat. Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., also said he tested positive for the virus earlier this month.

The Capitol Office of the Attending Physician began offering vaccinations to lawmakers in December after the Pfizer vaccine was first authorized on an emergency basis. Lawmakers could soon be eligible for a third shot under a plan announced Wednesday by the Biden administration to begin offering boosters to the general population in September.