South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham on Monday revealed that he contracted COVID-19 despite being vaccinated — in a “breakthrough” case as the more contagious Delta variant of the virus spreads.
Graham, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, said in a statement that he has mild flu-like symptoms.
“I was just informed by the House physician I have tested positive for COVID-19 even after being vaccinated,” Graham said in a press release.
“I started having flu-like symptoms Saturday night and went to the doctor this morning. I feel like I have a sinus infection and at present time I have mild symptoms. I will be quarantining for 10 days.”
Graham, 66, added: “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.”
The South Carolina senator was among the first in the nation to be vaccinated against COVID-19. He published a photo of himself getting vaccinated on Dec. 19, just eight days after the FDA gave emergency authorization to Pfizer’s two-dose vaccine.
I was just informed by the House physician I have tested positive for #COVID19 even after being vaccinated.
I started having flu-like symptoms Saturday night and went to the doctor this morning.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) August 2, 2021
Breakthrough infections among vaccinated people have DC on edge as the Delta variant fuels an uptick in national COVID-19 cases, although serious cases and hospitalizations among the vaccinated have been rare.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, on Thursday announced that the capital city would again require people to wear masks indoors, even if they’re vaccinated. Bowser faces accusations of hypocrisy for throwing herself a mask-free birthday party on Friday night before her mandate took effect. Bowser on Saturday was photographed mask-less at an indoor wedding reception.
Sen. Lindsey Graham’s positive test comes despite him being vaccinated for COVID-19.AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
At the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) last week reimposed an indoor mask mandate that carries $500 fines for House members who break the policy. The Senate does not have a similar rule.
Although lawmakers tend to be older, only one sitting member of Congress, Rep. Ron Wright (R-Texas) has died from COVID-19. One congressman-elect, Republican Luke Letlow of Louisiana, also died after contracting the virus.
Sen. Lindsey Graham announced that he has tested positive for COVID-19.Photo by Sarah Silbiger-Pool/Getty Images
Two of the three oldest members of Congress survived COVID-19 last year before the deployment of vaccines that improved the outlook for patients.
The oldest House member, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), now 88, tested positive for the virus in November. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), 87, tested positive the same month.