House Majority Whip James Clyburn announced late Wednesday that he had tested positive for COVID-19, the seventh member of Congress to be infected with the virus since the weekend.
Clyburn (D-SC) noted that he is asymptomatic in a statement on Twitter announcing his test result.
“America is in a new phase of this pandemic. No one is immune,” he wrote. “I urge anyone who has not done so to protect themselves by getting vaccinated and boosted.”
“I have been vaccinated, I have gotten a booster,” Clyburn told MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell during an appearance Wednesday night, “and as the experts have said, if you get the vaccinations, both of them, get the booster, then this virus is no more than — similar to a common cold. And that’s about all that I have experienced.”
In a separate statement, Clyburn noted that he tested negative for COVID-19 last week ahead of an appearance with President Biden in South Carolina. The lawmaker added that he was tested again Sunday as a precaution ahead of his daughter’s wedding and the result was inconclusive. Clyburn said he was tested for a third time Monday, and received news Wednesday that it was positive.
Biden himself has tested negative for COVID-19 twice this week since being in close proximity to a White House staffer who later tested positive during Friday’s trip to South Carolina.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), as well as Reps. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.), Jason Crow (D-Colo.), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) have also announced positive tests in recent days. All six have said they are experiencing mild symptoms.
Former California Democratic Rep. Katie Hill also tested positive for the virus this week, nearly eight months into her pregnancy.
Hill, who resigned from Congress amid a sex scandal in 2019, announced her test result in a Saturday tweet and revealed her symptoms were also “mild.”
“I’m boosted and got COVID and am now quarantined for Christmas while almost 8 months pregnant and though my symptoms are mild I really wish I’d cancelled my plans for the couple weeks before this,” the former lawmaker wrote.
Congress is currently in recess for the holidays and is not scheduled to reconvene until early January, giving all seven lawmakers time to recover.
As the US sees a spike in COVID-19 cases ahead of the holiday season, the Biden administration has announced several steps to combat the recent Omicron variant –including opening new federal testing sites and mailing half a billion at-home COVID test kits for those who request them starting next month.