Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin hosted Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and others on his houseboat this weekend. Tom Williams/Roll Call
Sen. Joe Manchin hosted multiple senators, including Lindsey Graham, on his houseboat over the weekend.
Graham announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning.
Manchin and Sens. Jacky Rosen and Mark Kelly were all in contact with Graham on the boat.
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Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, hosted a group of lawmakers on his Washington, DC houseboat over the weekend, including Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, despite being fully vaccinated.
A spokesperson for Manchin told reporters that the Democrat, who’s also vaccinated, is abiding by federal health guidelines in the wake of the possible exposure.
“Senator Manchin is fully vaccinated and following the CDC guidelines for those exposed to a COVID+ individual,” the spokesperson said.
Sen. Mark Kelly, an Arizona Democrat, and Sen. Jacky Rosen, a Nevada Democrat, also attended the gathering and came into contact with Graham, spokespeople for the lawmakers told CNN and other outlets. Both senators, who are also fully vaccinated, are following CDC guidelines and the advice of congressional health officials, their spokespeople said.
It’s unclear who else attended the gathering on Manchin’s houseboat, which is where the veteran lawmaker lives while he’s in DC. A spokesperson for Manchin didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The CDC recommends that fully-vaccinated people exposed to someone infected with COVID-19 get tested 3-5 days later and wear a mask indoors for two weeks or until they test negative for the virus.
Graham announced via tweet that he tested positive on Monday morning after coming down with “flu-like symptoms” on Saturday. Graham received the Pfizer vaccine last December and expressed relief at having been immunized prior to his infection.
“I feel like I have a sinus infection and at present time I have mild symptoms,” he wrote. “I will be quarantining for ten days. I am very glad I was vaccinated because without vaccination I am certain I would not feel as well as I do now. My symptoms would be far worse.”
COVID-19 cases are surging across the US, particularly in areas where vaccination rates are low. Over the last month, the US’s weekly average of new daily cases has more than quintupled: growing from just over 12,000 at the end of June to nearly 72,000 last Thursday.
New data shows that vaccinated people can still experience so-called “breakthrough infections,” although these cases are generally mild, according to the CDC. Delta is the most transmissible strain of the virus and it now makes up more than 80% of US infections.
While the House has a mask mandate in place, the Senate no longer requires masks. Almost all senators have said they’re vaccinated, while dozens of House members won’t say whether they’re vaccinated. Senate Democrats have resumed holding their leadership meetings virtually, after moving back to in-person meetings, amid the surge in cases.
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