September 30, 2022

Washington — Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said he tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, throwing a potential curveball in Democrats’ legislative aspirations ahead of the August recess.

West Virginia’s Manchin, 74, said he’s experiencing “mild symptoms,” and will work remotely as he follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

“This morning I tested positive for COVID-19,” Manchin tweeted Monday morning. “I am fully vaccinated and boosted and am experiencing mild symptoms. I will isolate and follow CDC guidelines as I continue to work remotely to serve West Virginians.”

Manchin joins President Biden and Sen. Tom Carper among those in Washington who have recently tested positive. Senator Lisa Murkowski also announced on Monday that she tested positive for COVID-19. 

“After experiencing flu like symptoms I recently tested positive for COVID-19,” she said on Twitter. “I will be following guidance and advice from doctors and will be quarantining at home in Alaska while continuing my work remotely.”

The president is continuing to improve, with his main symptom being a sore throat as of Sunday, according to his physician. Mr. Biden has been taking a five-day course of the antiviral treatment Paxlovid, while he continues to take calls and meetings over the phone and Zoom.

News of Manchin’s positive test comes at the start of a busy two weeks for the Senate. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is seeking to approve a bipartisan bill providing subsidies to boost semiconductor production in the U.S., and hopes to attract enough GOP votes to pass a bill that would enshrine same-sex marriage rights in federal law, after the House passed the bill with bipartisan support. Schumer wants to bring the Respect for Marriage Act to the floor as soon as he has the votes.

Democrats are also looking to approve Finland and Sweden’s effort to join NATO, and Democrats want to pass a bill to lower health care premiums and the cost of prescription drugs.

Manchin has drawn the irritation — if not ire — of some of his Democratic colleagues, refusing to nix Senate filibuster rules to allow for the passage of voting rights legislation or other Democratic priorities.

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