Relying on the effectiveness of rapid test results, Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler left her mask off most the day Friday as she campaigned for the upcoming Georgia runoff against Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock, CNN reported. She rode a bus from the airport with Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. David Perdue—who's also campaigning for a runoff election, his against Democrat Jon Ossoff—and she attended campaign events all day Friday. Now the businesswoman turned legislator is awaiting additional COVID-19 test results after an earlier test indicated she has the virus.
"Senator Loeffler took two COVID tests on Friday morning," campaign spokesperson Stephen Lawson told CNN. "Her rapid test results were negative and she was cleared to attend Friday's events." She was informed later in the evening after public events on Friday that her PCR test came back positive, but she was retested Saturday morning after conferring with medical officials and those results came back inconclusive on Saturday evening. "She has no symptoms and she will continue to follow CDC guidelines by quarantining until retesting is conclusive and an update will be provided at that time," he said.
These maskless pics were tweeted out by Kelly Loeffler *yesterday*, before she got a positive PCR COVID test. https://t.co/VfCab7sheI— Steven Dennis (@Steven Dennis)1606015901.0
Despite attack ads wrongfully accusing Warnock of being anti-military and hosting Cuba's former dictator Fidel Castro, the reverend offered Loeffler his best wishes Saturday on Twitter. "Senator Loeffler is in my thoughts. I pray that her test results come back negative and that she is back on the campaign trail soon. Blessings," Warnock said in the tweet.
Casey Black, a spokeswoman for Perdue's campaign, told CNN the businessman is staying home until Loeffler gets a confirmed test result. Pence told CBS News through a spokesperson that he's waiting for more conclusive test results. "As he awaits a confirmatory test from Senator Loeffler, Vice President Pence is in regular consultation with the White House Medical Unit and will be following CDC guidelines as he has in other circumstances when he has been a close contact," press secretary Devin O'Malley said.
Loeffler is only the latest high-profile Republican to test positive for the virus. Ben Carson, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said he has been "extremely sick" with the virus in a Facebook post on Friday. "President Trump was following my condition and cleared me for the monoclonal antibody therapy that he had previously received, which I am convinced saved my life," the retired neurosurgeon said.
"He survived after using monoclonal antibody drugs—*before* it was FDA approved. So much privilege—250k Americans weren't so lucky," Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding tweeted on Sunday.
Read Carson's complete post here:
"Thank you everyone for your support and prayers as Candy and I battled COVID-19. I was extremely sick and initially took Oleander 4X with dramatic improvement. However, I have several co-morbidities and after a brief period when I only experienced minor discomfort, the symptoms accelerated and I became desperately ill. President Trump was following my condition and cleared me for the monoclonal antibody therapy that he had previously received, which I am convinced saved my life.
President Trump, the fabulous White House medical team, and the phenomenal doctors at Walter Reed have been paying very close attention to my health and I do believe I am out of the woods at this point. I am hopeful that we can stop playing politics with medicine and instead combine our efforts and goodwill for the good of all people. While I am blessed to have the best medical care in the world (and I am convinced it saved my life), we must prioritize getting comparable treatments and care to everyone as soon as possible.
There are a number of promising treatments that need to be tested, approved, and distributed (sooner rather than later) so that the economy can be re-opened and we can all return to a semblance of normalcy. Also, people should recognize that there are a number of defined steps that legally have to be taken before vaccines are released to the public and trying to cause alarm by saying dangerous shortcuts were taken only serves to stoke fear. Together we will be victorious. God is still in charge."
Let this sink in: Ben Carson, Trump’s HUD Secretary, was “extremely sick" w/ #COVID19, and became "desperately ill… https://t.co/3Sz5pSejRU— Eric Feigl-Ding (@Eric Feigl-Ding)1606065848.0
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