uncertainty

Two Republican senators test positive for COVID-19, adding to uncertainty surrounding Supreme Court pick

The coronavirus outbreak gripping the White House spread to Capitol Hill on Friday morning, raising the prospect that the virus could disrupt Republicans’ plans to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court before the November election.



a group of people standing in front of a building: Judge Amy Coney Barrett spoke after being nominated to the US Supreme Court by President Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House on Sept. 26. Several people who were in attendance, including the president, have since tested positive for COVID-19, imperiling Barrett's confirmation process.


© OLIVIER DOULIERY
Judge Amy Coney Barrett spoke after being nominated to the US Supreme Court by President Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House on Sept. 26. Several people who were in attendance, including the president, have since tested positive for COVID-19, imperiling Barrett’s confirmation process.

Two Republican members of the Senate Judiciary committee — Mike Lee of Utah, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina – revealed Friday that they have tested positive for the potentially deadly disease.

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Their positive diagnoses raised concerns that the virus had spread at a Saturday Rose Garden ceremony, at which Trump announced he was nominating Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

The senators are among six people who attended the event, which featured few masks and little social distancing, who have since tested positive for the virus.

Trump, the first lady, and top Trump aide Hope Hicks all attended the event and subsequently tested positive, showing symptoms in the expected five- to seven-day window following the event. Also Friday, the president of the University of Notre Dame, the Rev. John Jenkins, announced he, too, had tested positive for COVID-19. Jenkins attended the Saturday Rose Garden ceremony.

Earlier in the week, Jenkins sent a letter to university students and staff apologizing for not wearing a mask during Saturday’s Rose Garden ceremony for Barrett, who is a Notre Dame graduate and law professor.

Video of the event also shows Lee unmasked and hugging other attendees.

Both Lee and Tillis said they would isolate for 10 days. Lee vowed in a statement that he