Speed Reads

like the plague

Jeff Merkley of Oregon becomes the 32nd senator to test positive for COVID

With the announcement Monday that Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) has tested positive for COVID-19, nearly one-third of U.S. Senators have now contracted the virus, according to Bloomberg.

The vaxxed and boosted Merkley said his symptoms are "mild" and urged "all Oregonians and Americans to take advantage of available vaccines and boosters to stay safe."

According to GovTrack, 31 other senators — including 16 Republicans and 14 Democrats — have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Several others quarantined after being exposed to the virus.

Republican Sens. Shelly Capito (W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (La.), Susan Collins (Maine), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), John Hoeven (N.D.), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Ron Johnson (Wisc.), Mike Lee (Utah), Kelly Loeffler (Ga.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Mitt Romney (Utah), Rick Scott (Fla.), Thom Tillis (N.C.), and Roger Wicker (Miss.) have all had confirmed cases of COVID.

Among Democrats, Sens. Michael Bennet (Colo.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Bob Casey (Penn.), Chris Coons (Dela.), John Hickenlooper (Colo.), Tim Kaine (Va.), Chris Murphy (Conn.), Alex Padilla (Calif.), Brian Schatz (Hawaii), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Mark Warner (Va.), Raphael Warnock (Ga.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), and Ron Wyden (Ore.) have tested positive for the virus or its antibodies.

Independent Sen. Angus King (Maine) has also tested positive for COVID.

Merkley's diagnosis brings the total to 32 — which makes 16 from each party if you count King as a Democrat. However, the number of current senators who've had the virus is 31, since Loeffler is no longer a senator.