BREAKING: Anti-Handwashing Republican Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) announced on Twitter Friday evening that he has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

“Tonight my COVID-19 test came back positive. I’m following the recommendations of my doctor. Thankfully, I have no symptoms and feel well. COVID is a very contagious virus,” Tillis wrote. “If you were exposed or start to display symptoms, please call your doctor, self-isolate, and get tested.”

Tillis also issued a statement:

Over the last few months, I’ve been routinely tested for COVID-19, including testing negative last Saturday, but tonight my rapid antigen test came back positive. I will be following the recommendations of my doctor and will be self-isolating at home for 10 days and notifying those I’ve been in close contact with. Thankfully, I have no symptoms and I feel well. As we all know, COVID-19 is a very contagious and deadly virus, especially because many carriers are asymptomatic. I encourage all North Carolinians to follow the recommendations of medical experts, including wearing a mask, washing hands, and practicing social distancing. For any North Carolinian who believes they were exposed to the virus or starts to display symptoms, please call your doctor, self-isolate, and get tested to protect those around you.

How ironic: Tillis is one of many GOP lawmakers who have encouraged the public to ignore the most basic measures that would help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

In February, for example, Tillis made a stink about requiring restaurant workers to wash their hands (a rule which has existed since long before the pandemic began).

Tillis, a ranking member of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, is locked in a tight race for reelection against Democrat Cal Cunningham, a lawyer who has never held public office. Cunningham wished Tillis well and said that he will get tested, having recently been in proximity of the incumbent Senator.

“I’m wishing @SenThomTillis a quick recovery following his positive COVID-19 test, and am thinking of him and his family,” Cunningham tweeted. “Because I was with Senator Tillis recently on the debate stage, I will also get tested.”

Recent polling shows Cunniningham with a consistent lead over Tillis. The victor could determine which party ultimately wins control of the Senate in November.

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