3 U.S. senators test positive for coronavirus in ‘breakthrough’ infections

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In this Thursday, May 27, 2021 file photo, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., arrives as senators go to the chamber for votes ahead of the approaching Memorial Day recess, at the Capitol in Washington. Republican Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi says installing massive pumps to drain water from the south Mississippi Delta would be a way to fight environmental injustice. He says the project would help low-income and minority residents whose lives are disrupted by flooding. Wicker made his statements to a Senate subcommittee Thursday, July 22, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

In this Thursday, May 27, 2021 file photo, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., arrives as senators go to the chamber for votes ahead of the approaching Memorial Day recess, at the Capitol in Washington. Republican Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi says installing massive pumps to drain water from the south Mississippi Delta would be a way to fight environmental injustice. He says the project would help low-income and minority residents whose lives are disrupted by flooding. Wicker made his statements to a Senate subcommittee Thursday, July 22, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Three U.S. senators on Thursday tested positive for the coronavirus.

Republican Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi was the first to announce the infection.

“Senator Wicker tested positive this morning for the COVID-19 virus after immediately seeking a test due to mild symptoms,” his communications director, Phillip Waller, said in a statement. “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.”

Wicker is 70. He was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 2007 after fellow Republican Trent Lott stepped down. Wicker was elected to the U.S. House in 1994 after having served in the state Senate.

Wicker has not been in Washington since last week. His activities in Mississippi this week included a meeting with Tupelo Mayor Todd Jordan and Jordan’s staff and an interview Wednesday at the WTVA-TV studio in Tupelo.

The next senator to reveal a COVID-19 diagnosis was Sen. Angus King of Maine, who tested positive in his home state on Thursday, a day after he began feeling ill.

King, an independent, said he’s definitely “not feeling great” but said he’s doing better than he would if he hadn’t been vaccinated.

“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,” King said in a statement.

King, 77, said that throughout the pandemic he’s worked to protect himself, loved ones and staff through masks, social distancing, a “work-from-home mindset,” Zoom meetings and, until recently, driving instead of flying to Washington, D.C., he said.

King has battled a couple of health scares over the years. He survived skin cancer in the 1970s and battled cancer again in 2015, when he had surgery for prostate cancer.

Soon after King’s announcement, Colorado Sen John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, also disclosed his own positive coronavirus test in yet another “breakthrough” case.

The first-term Democrat issued a statement saying he tested positive after experiencing mild symptoms and is self-isolating at the direction of the attending physician for the U.S. Congress, Dr. Brian P. Monahan. Hickenlooper said he was “feeling much better.”

“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 said. “If you haven’t been vaccinated, don’t wait for the virus — get the shot today, and a booster when it’s available too!”

Hickenlooper, 69, is a former brewpub entrepreneur, Denver mayor and two-term governor who defeated incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner in the 2020 election.

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