Florida Senator Rick Scott Positive for Coronavirus
Florida GOP Sen. Rick Scott announced Friday morning that he has tested positive for the coronavirus. A statement issued by his office indicated that he is experiencing “mild symptoms” and is isolating himself at his home in Naples, Fla.
The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that Scott believes he contracted the virus last Friday after having campaigned in Georgia for senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. Scott went into quarantine at home last Saturday after learning that he had come into contact with someone who later tested positive for the virus. He took two rapid tests, both of which came back negative, but on Tuesday was administered the more accurate PCR test. The positive result from that test came back Friday morning.
Scott is the tenth senator to contract COVID-19. Earlier this week 87-year-old Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) announced he had tested positive. At least 26 members of the House of Representatives also have tested positive.
Scott has opposed mandatory mask mandates, saying that governments should “stop telling us what to do.” But he also has been more vocal than other Republicans in encouraging people to follow public health guidance and he is often scene in public wearing a mask.
While campaigning on Nov. 12, Scott wore a mask at an indoor campaign rally in Georgia for Loeffler and Perdue. He removed the mask to speak but then put it back on to take a selfie with the two senators, neither of whom wore a mask. Scott then briefly shook hands with supporters, and leaned into kiss one on the cheek through his mask.
Scott’s revelation comes at the end of a week in which Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) got into an argument on the Senate floor with presiding officer Alaska Sen. Dan Alexander over Alexander’s refusal to wear a mask while in the chamber. GOP Sen. Ted Cruz felt the need to weigh in on the issue, calling Brown “a complete ass” for wearing a mask.