Seantor Patrick Leahy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., announced Monday afternoon that he has tested negative for COVID-19 after potentially being exposed to the virus at a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on Thursday.

Two other senators present at the meeting later tested positive.

A spokesperson for the senator said that while Leahy had not been in close contact with the two men for a prolonged period of time, the Capitol Physician recommended he be tested.

Leahy has not shown any signs of infection.

As of press time, several attendees at a White House event on Sept. 26 announcing the nomination of the Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court have tested positive, including numerous members of the White House staff, the president and first lady, two senators, and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie. 

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., has also tested positive. He was not at the event, but was in contact with other Republican senators.

No masks appear to have been worn at the event in which people were sitting in close quarters outside, as well as participating in indoor events.

“Given the potential exposure of the virus to all members and staff on the Judiciary Committee last week, and given that four senators on the committee are currently self-quarantining, Senator Leahy firmly believes that it has become impossible to proceed with a hearing to consider Judge Barrett’s nomination, in just seven days from now, in accordance with CDC guidelines. Doing so would needlessly place the health and safety of members, staff, journalists, and the nominee and her family at risk," the Senator's office said in a statement.

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