Updated Aug 2, 2021 - Health

Sen. Lindsey Graham tests positive for COVID-19

Lindsey Graham

Lindsey Graham. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Monday that he has tested positive for COVID-19, despite being vaccinated.

Why it matters: Graham emphasized that the mildness of his symptoms is due to being vaccinated. If he had been unvaccinated his symptoms would be "far worse," he said.

The latest: It appears that Graham may have exposed a number of other senators to the virus this weekend after he attended a weekend get-together hosted by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on the latter's houseboat, CNN reports.

  • "Sen. Manchin is fully vaccinated and following the CDC guidelines for those exposed to a COVID-positive individual," a Manchin spokeswoman told CNN.
  • Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Jacky Rosen (D-N.V.) were also at the bipartisan gathering and are now following CDC guidelines for persons exposed to a COVID-positive individual, reports Business Insider.
  • Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-N.V.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.), all of whom are fully vaccinated, also attended the boat gathering. Thune has already received his test results and tested negative for COVID-19.
  • Senate Democrats have gone back to holding virtual meetings in light of the news of Graham's positive test.

The big picture: Graham received the coronavirus vaccine in December 2020 and has advocated for his constituents to get inoculated.

  • Graham said he began experiencing flu-like symptoms on Saturday and visited his doctor Monday morning.
  • He described his symptoms as mild and confirmed that he will quarantine for 10 days.
  • "I am very glad I was vaccinated because without vaccination I am certain I would not feel as well as I do now," he wrote. "My symptoms would be far worse."

Of note: Despite the attention given to them, "breakthrough" COVID-19 cases remain exceedingly rare.

  • Less than 0.1% of vaccinated Americans tested positive for COVID-19 and those who do tend to experience a less severe bout of the virus than the unvaccinated.
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