Updated Aug 19, 2021 - Health

Multiple senators test positive with breakthrough COVID-19 infections

Picture of Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Angus King (I-Maine) and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) have tested positive for breakthrough cases of COVID-19, their offices said Thursday.

The big picture: At least four vaccinated senators have tested positive in August, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who announced his breakthrough positive test result earlier this month.

What they're saying: "Senator Wicker is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, is in good health and is being treated by his Tupelo-based physician. He is isolating, and everyone with whom Senator Wicker has come in close contact recently has been notified," Phillip Waller, Wicker's communications director, said in a statement.

  • Waller added that Wicker's symptoms are mild.
  • King said in a statement: "While I am not feeling great, I’m definitely feeling much better than I would have without the vaccine. I am taking this diagnosis very seriously, quarantining myself at home and telling the few people I’ve been in contact with to get tested in order to limit any further spread."
  • Hickenlooper said in a statement: "After experiencing mild symptoms, I tested positive for a breakthrough case of COVID-19. I’m feeling much better and will continue to isolate at the direction of the Congressional Attending Physician."
  • "I’m grateful for the vaccine (and the scientists behind it) for limiting my symptoms and allowing us to continue our work for Colorado," Hickenlooper added.

Between the lines: "Breakthrough" COVID-19 cases are rare, with less than 0.1% of vaccinated Americans testing positive for the virus. Those who are infected are less likely to have severe cases than unvaccinated individuals.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new details throughout.

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