Raphael Warnock tests positive for COVID-19 after SCOTUS vote

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock learned that he had tested positive for the coronavirus shortly after participating in the historic confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court.

In a statement posted on social media, Warnock said he learned of the result in the late afternoon on Thursday after a routine test.

“I’m so thankful to be both vaccinated & boosted, and at the advice of the Attending Physician I plan to isolate,” he said. “If you haven’t gotten your shot yet, I encourage you to do so.”

A similar statement was sent to members of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Warnock serves as the head pastor. In it, he said he is “doing just fine.”

Warnock is isolating in Washington. His office declined to give additional details, such as whether he was experiencing any symptoms.

His positive test comes amid a rash of others from members of Congress and the executive branch this week, including Attorney General Merrick Garland and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins also announced Thursday afternoon that she had COVID-19, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did so earlier in the day. In all, roughly a dozen members of Congress said they tested positive this week.

They are not required to publicly disclose their COVID-19 test results, and Democrats have been much more likely to do so voluntarily than Republicans.

Most members of Congress left Washington on Thursday to get an early start on their two-week recess.

Warnock’s office had announced he would spend the first week of the recess on a statewide tour highlighting his efforts to lower the cost of insulin and other prescription drugs. Those events will no longer go on as scheduled.

Prior to the Senate’s confirmation of Jackson to become the first Black woman on the Supreme Court, Warnock delivered a floor speech praising her. He stood at his desk unmasked, and at least one lawmaker was seated nearby.

Vice President Kamala Harris later arrived to preside over the vote. She was spotted handing a piece of her letterhead to Warnock and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, the Senate’s two Black Democrats.

A spokesperson for Booker told NBC News that during that brief interaction Harris encouraged them to write a letter to a young Black girl with their reflections from the day.