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The Oldest Man in the Senate Tested Positive for Coronavirus

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, an 87-year-old man who’s about to enter his 40th year in the Senate, announced Tuesday that he has COVID-19. 

Grassley, the current longest-serving U.S. Senator, tweeted Tuesday night that he had tested positive. Earlier in the day, he had announced he’d been exposed to the coronavirus. “I’m feeling good + will keep up on my work for the ppl of Iowa from home,” Grassley tweeted. 

Grassley is the president pro tempore of the Senate and third in line to the presidency, behind the Vice President and Speaker of the House.

He’s also the third-oldest person in Congress. Rep. Don Young of Alaska, the oldest man in Congress, tested positive for coronavirus last week. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the oldest person in the Senate, was filmed walking through the Senate corridor without a mask yesterday. All three people are 87 years old. 

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Because he was quarantining, Grassley missed a vote for the first time since 1993—a streak of nearly 9,000 votes and the longest in the history of the U.S. Senate, according to the Wall Street Journal. Grassley’s absence, along with that of quarantining GOP Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, meant a Tuesday vote to confirm controversial Trump nominee Judy Shelton to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors failed. 

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