WASHINGTON — Sen. John Hickenlooper announced on Thursday that he has tested positive for COVID-19, making him the third U.S. senator to confirm a breakthrough case of the viral infection in a single day.
In a statement posted on social media, the Colorado Democrat said that he felt “good” though he added that he plans to isolate himself as instructed by his doctor.
“I’m grateful for the vaccine (& the scientists behind it!) for limiting my symptoms,” he said. “If you haven’t gotten your shot – get it today! And a booster when it’s available too!”
Earlier Thursday, Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Angus King, I-Maine, confirmed that they had also tested positive for COVID-19. Wicker and King, like Hickenlooper, were fully vaccinated.
The diagnoses are the latest known breakthrough cases of COVID-19 in Congress.
Earlier this month, fully vaccinated Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., tested positive for the viral infection after experiencing “flu-like symptoms.” Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., who is also fully vaccinated, announced last month that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
An unidentified White House official and an aide for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also tested positive for the viral infection last month despite being vaccinated.
Research has shown that fully vaccinated people can spread the highly transmissible delta variant of the virus, which accounts for more than 80% of all COVID-19 cases reported nationwide; however, officials have noted that vaccination protects well against severe and life-threatening symptoms of the viral infection.
On Thursday, President Joe Biden said that the latest data “confirms we’re still in a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
“While we’re starting to see initial signs that cases may be declining in a few places, cases are still rising, especially among the unvaccinated,” he said. “Across the country, virtually all of the COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated. … Right now, it’s worse in states where overall vaccination rates are low.”
As of Friday morning, just over 51% of Americans, or 169.5 million people, have been fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since the start of the pandemic, officials have confirmed 37.2 million infections and reported more than 624,000 deaths nationwide, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
More than 209.7 million COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide, resulting in nearly 4.4 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.
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