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GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley, 87, Tests Positive For The Coronavirus

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Stefani Reynolds
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Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Updated at 7:07 p.m. ET

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa has tested positive for the coronavirus, he confirmed in a Tuesday tweet, hours after the Republican lawmaker told the public he had been exposed to the virus.

The 87-year-old wrote on Twitter that he was "feeling good" and expected to continue his Senate duties from home while he isolated and recovered.

Grassley's diagnosis makes him one of several high-ranking Republican figures and one of more than 11 million Americans to have contracted the virus.

Tuesday marked the first time Grassley had missed a vote on the Senate floor in 27 years. The powerful Republican lawmaker is third in line to succeed the president, following the vice president and speaker of the House of Representatives.

Despite the U.S. death toll from the virus now nearing 250,000, some prominent Republican figures have still shirked public health guidance regarding the importance of wearing protective face masks and limiting social gatherings. Grassley has been seen wearing a mask on Capitol Hill.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Monday called his colleague Sen. Sherrod Brown "a complete ass" for the Democrat's request that a fellow senator wear his mask while addressing the room.

More than two dozen members of Congress have now tested positive for the coronavirus or been presumed positive for the virus, according to NPR's tracker of the virus in the Capitol.

Grassley gave brief remarks Monday evening on the Senate floor, as is traditional for the president pro tempore, during which he did not wear a mask. He did wear a mask later during votes, however.

Also that evening, he spoke with a Capitol Hill pool reporter about appropriations and coronavirus relief.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Alana Wise
Alana Wise is a politics reporter on the Washington desk at NPR.
Claudia Grisales is a congressional reporter assigned to NPR's Washington Desk.