Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, revealed he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Tuesday night, hours after the Senate’s longest-serving Republican acknowledged that he had been exposed to the contagion.
“This morning, I learned that I had been exposed to the coronavirus,” Grassley said. “I received a COVID-19 test and immediately began to quarantine. While I still feel fine, the test came back positive for the coronavirus. I am continuing to follow my doctors’ orders and CDC guidelines. I’ll be keeping up on my work for the people of Iowa from home.”
At age 87, Grassley is one of the oldest active members of Congress. As the longest-serving Republican, Grassley is president pro tempore of the Senate, placing him third in the line of presidential succession after Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. He is tasked with presiding over the Senate in Pence’s absence.
Grassley also serves as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. He could miss Senate votes for the first time in 27 years while recovering from the virus.
Grassley has not yet disclosed how he was exposed to the virus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that individuals aged 85 or older are at the “greatest risk for severe illness from COVID-19.”
“I appreciate everyone’s well wishes and prayers, and look forward to resuming my normal schedule when I can. In the meantime, my offices across Iowa and in Washington remain open and ready to serve Iowans,” Grassley added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.