GOP Senator Kelly Loeffler, in Georgia’s second round, tests positive for coronavirus; receives a 2nd inconclusive test


GOP Senator Kelly Loeffler, locked in a second-round battle in Georgia that could determine Senate control, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Loeffler’s spokeswoman said she tested positive for the virus on Friday evening, but a follow-up test on Saturday was inconclusive. She isolates herself as a precaution “until the new test is conclusive”. She had two quick COVID tests on Friday morning before starting a campaign day, but found out the night she had tested positive in a PCR test, which generates fewer false positives or false negatives.

“Senator Loeffler had two COVID tests on Friday morning. Her rapid test results were negative and she was allowed to attend Friday’s events, ”campaign spokesman Stephen Lawson said Saturday night. “She was informed later in the evening, after the public events on Friday, that her PCR test had come back positive, but she was retested Saturday morning after speaking with medical authorities and these results came back without conclusion on Saturday. evening.

“Senator Loeffler followed the CDC’s direction in advising those with whom she had direct contact while awaiting the results of further testing.

She is not suffering from any symptoms, Lawson said.

Loeffler, 49, made an appearance during the campaign with Vice President Mike Pence on Friday. The two appeared on stage nearby without masks. Senator David Perdue, currently campaigning in Georgia’s other second round, was also present at the rally and nearby without a mask.

The second round will take place on January 5.

With Democrats and two left-wing independents holding 48 seats, and Republicans holding 50 seats, Georgia’s two seats could determine the Senate’s balance in President-elect Biden’s first years in office. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would vote with a deciding vote in all the ties 50-50.

Loeffler, who has presented himself as a strong ally of President Donald Trump, is running against Reverend Raphael Warnock. The Democrat is the Reverend of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the one congregation of Martin Luther King Jr.

Perdue is running against Democrat Jon Ossoff, who, at 33, would become the youngest Senate member of seven. It is not known when Perdue was last tested.

Loeffler’s positive test also comes exactly one week after he appeared in a campaign event with Florida Senator Rick Scott. The couple appeared at a crowded sports bar with hundreds of fans and very few wearing masks, including the contestant. Scott tested positive for COVID a few days later.

She is the third GOP senator to self-isolate after testing positive, after Scott and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley.

Loeffler, who took office in January when she was appointed to replace retired Senator Johnny Isakson, tested negative for the virus at the end of October when two of his staff tested positive.

ABC News’s Briana Stewart and Chris Donovan contributed to this report.


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