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Sen. Mike Lee attends the Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Oct. 12. Photo: Alex Edelman/Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) attended the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett in person and gave his opening statement without a mask, a little more than a week after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Details: Lee told Hugh Hewitt on Monday he was cleared to attend the hearing in person from the Office of the Attending Physician. "I’ve gone through the appropriate number of days, and I’ve been keeping my temperature under control, and I’m no longer contagious," Lee said, explaining why he felt comfortable being in the committee room.

  • Lee was one of two Republicans on the committee to test positive for the virus after attending the Rose Garden ceremony at the White House for Barrett, which was a likely "superspreader event."
  • Many Democrats were participating in the hearing remotely.

What they're saying: "Based upon current CDC guidelines, you have met criteria to end COVID-19 isolation for those with mild to moderate disease," Brian Monahan, from the Office of the Attending Physician, said in a letter released by Lee's office.

  • "Specifically, it has been greater than 10 days since symptom onset, you have had no fever in absence of fever reducing medication for at least 24 hours, and your other symptoms have improved. The CDC does not recommend repeat SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing if these criteria are met."
  • Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham said, "As to the hearing room, I doubt if there's any room in the country that's been given more attention and detail to make sure it is CDC compliant."

Go deeper

Updated Jan 15, 2021 - Health

The coronavirus variants: What you need to know

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New variants of the coronavirus circulating globally appear to increase transmission and are being closely monitored by scientists.

Driving the news: The highly contagious variant B.1.1.7 originally detected in the U.K. could become the dominant strain in the U.S. by March if no measures are taken to control the spread of the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

Jan 15, 2021 - Health

CDC: Highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March

Health care providers work at triage tents outside Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Southern California. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Friday that the highly transmissible coronavirus variant first discovered in the U.K. will likely become the dominant strain in the U.S. this March if more steps aren't taken to mitigate the spread.

The state of play: Only about 76 people in a dozen states have been diagnosed with the the B.1.1.7 variant so far, according to the CDC, but experts warn there are likely more undetected cases. Although the variant is more contagious, it does not appear to be resistant to existing vaccines or cause more severe symptoms.

Updated 21 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to coronavirus pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Azar says deadly Capitol siege could "tarnish" Trump administration's legacy — Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.