Georgia senators urged to quarantine after Giuliani’s COVID-19 diagnosis

Many attended a biennial legislative event Monday in Athens

Upon learning Sunday that Rudy Giuliani tested positive for COVID-19, Georgia senators who attended a seven-hour hearing last week with President Donald Trump’s personal attorney were urged to self-quarantine.

Senate President Pro Tem Butch Miller, a Gainesville Republican who did not attend the hearing, said senators who participated in the Senate Judiciary subcommittee meeting who have not previously contracted COVID-19 were encouraged to quarantine for two weeks. Giuliani, a former mayor of New York City, did not wear a mask while in the Capitol.

“We are clearly disappointed that Mayor Giuliani disregarded the health and well-being of others by not wearing a mask when it clearly would have been appropriate,” Miller said.

State Sen. William Ligon, a Brunswick Republican and chairman of the subcommittee that held the hearing, said in a statement that Giuliani was in “close proximity to senators, Senate staff, members of the media and the general public,” and he encouraged them to follow health recommendations.

Several lawmakers who attended the Thursday hearing traveled to Athens on Monday for a legislative institute held every two years in advance of the General Assembly session to provide orientation for new legislators and foster policy discussions. But some of those people contracted COVID-19 earlier this year.

Many people believe that once they have had COVID-19 they can’t get it again. However, officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it is unclear how much, if any, protection there is for those who’ve recovered from the virus.

According to the CDC’s website, “confirmed and suspected cases of reinfection have been reported, but remain rare.”

Giuliani was in town with other Trump attorneys who brought a parade of witnesses who expressed doubts about the integrity of the election in Georgia but provided no proof of voter fraud.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has repeatedly said there is no credible evidence of widespread voter fraud in Georgia. Trump lost the election to former Vice President Joe Biden both in Georgia and nationally, but he has made unsubstantiated claims of fraud ever since the outcome became clear.

Giuliani participated in similar hearings in Arizona and Michigan. Arizona legislative officials announced Sunday that the Legislature would close for a week “out of an abundance of caution,” according to The Arizona Republic.

Senate staff members who came in contact with Giuliani have been asked to get COVID-19 tests and work remotely until they receive negative test results, said Steve Tippins, Miller’s chief of staff.

Senators were free to make their own decisions about how to react to the news of Giuliani’s diagnosis with COVID-19 three days after his visit to Atlanta.

State Sen. Jen Jordan, an Atlanta Democrat who participated in the hearing with Giuliani, decided to quarantine after learning of his diagnosis. She said she plans to get a test Tuesday.

Others, however, attended the legislative event hosted by the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government.