Rick Scott Becomes The 6th Member Of Congress To Test Positive This Week

OPA LOCKA, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 01: Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) speaks before the arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump for his campaign event at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport on November 1, 2020 in Opa Locka, Florida.... OPA LOCKA, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 01: Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) speaks before the arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump for his campaign event at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport on November 1, 2020 in Opa Locka, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) MORE LESS

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) is just the most recent member of Congress to test positive for COVID-19 this week, following a handful of his House and Senate peers.

Scott has been in quarantine in his Naples home since last Friday after coming into contact with an infected person on a flight back to Florida.

Capitol Hill, where Republican refusal to don a mask sparked a Senate floor fight earlier this week, has become a veritable petri dish for the virus. According to one Politico reporter’s count, Scott is the seventh senator to test positive since March and the ninth to have contracted the disease — Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) tested positive for having antibodies. A full 84 members of Congress have either tested positive, quarantined or come into contact with an infected person, according to a GovTrack running count.

The recent outbreak has even disrupted congressional business.

In a dramatic Tuesday afternoon episode, Democrats were able to keep Judy Shelton’s controversial nomination to the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors from advancing to a final vote. With Scott in quarantine and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) having tested positive and also in isolation, Democrats were able to at least temporarily keep Shelton from advancing with an assist from Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Susan Collins (R-ME), who voted no, and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) who was absent. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) was rushed back to Washington to cast the deciding vote.

This particular fight may not be over: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took procedural steps that would allow him to bring up Shelton’s nomination again before the end of the lame duck session. But the episode shows how the infection is disrupting Republican senators particularly, some of whom have staked out their political allegiances by tut-tutting at safety precautions like mask-wearing and avoiding crowded indoor spaces.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriter:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: