87-Year-Old GOP Senator Tests Positive

Chuck Grassley is 3rd in line of presidential succession
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 17, 2020 5:35 PM CST
Oldest GOP Senator Tests Positive for COVID
Sen. Chuck Grassley attends a campaign event with Vice President Mike Pence Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the longest-serving Republican senator and third in the line of presidential succession, said Tuesday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus. Grassley announced earlier Tuesday that he was quarantining after being exposed to the virus and was waiting for the results of a test. On Tuesday evening, he tweeted that he had tested positive, the AP reports. "I've tested positive for coronavirus," Grassley wrote. “I'll b following my doctors’ orders/CDC guidelines & continue to quarantine. I’m feeling good + will keep up on my work for the ppl of Iowa from home." Grassley said he looks forward to “resuming my normal schedule soon." At 87, Grassley is the GOP's oldest senator. The oldest Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, is three months older than Grassley.

The Iowa Republican, who was in the Senate and voting on Monday, did not say how he was exposed. His office said Tuesday morning that he was not experiencing any symptoms. Grassley is the president pro tempore of the Senate, meaning he presides over the Senate in the absence of Vice President Mike Pence and is third in line to become president, behind Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. By missing votes Tuesday, Grassley broke a 27-year streak of not missing a single Senate vote. According to his office, the last time he missed a vote was in 1993, when he was in Iowa assisting with relief efforts after severe flooding. Grassley was first elected to the US House in 1974 and then to the Senate in 1980.

(More Chuck Grassley stories.)

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