Coronavirus: Senators Lindsey Graham, Rick Scott self-quarantine over contact with infected Brazilian envoy

Both Lindsey Graham and Rick Scott are waiting for the test results and both don't recall interacting with the infected person at Mar-a-Lago


                            Coronavirus: Senators Lindsey Graham, Rick Scott self-quarantine over contact with infected Brazilian envoy
Lindsey Graham (Getty Images)

Top Republican Senator and Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee Lindsey Graham will quarantine himself and is waiting for the coronavirus test result. This comes after he socialized with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his infected aide at Mar-a-Lago last weekend. 

Fabio Wajngarten, Bolsonaro's press secretary, tested positive for coronavirus on March 12, just days after meeting President Donald Trump at the Florida resort. The Brazilian official was present at the dinner that Trump hosted at his Florida resort and was in close physical proximity with the latter. Bolsonaro's health is also being monitored. Graham was also present on the occasion.

According to a statement issued by the office of the 64-year-old senator from South Carolina, he "has no recollection of direct contact" with the Brazilian president. "However, in an abundance of caution and upon the advice of his doctor, Senator Graham has decided to self-quarantine awaiting the results of a coronavirus test," the statement said, adding that he will work from home.

It will be known on March 13 whether the Brazilian president has also tested positive for the virus that has claimed nearly 5,000 lives across the world and 41 in the US alone. The two presidents shook hands at Trump's dinner. 

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and US President Donald Trump (AFP Photo)

Another GOP senator Rick Scott (Florida) also said that he will self-quarantine as he too had met the Brazilian delegates, including the infected aide.

"While I do not believe I interacted with the infected person, that individual was in the same room as me," Scott, 67, said in a statement.

"The embassy said the person had no symptoms leading up to or the day of the conference. After consulting with the Senate's attending physician and my personal doctor, I have been told that my risk is low, and I don't need to take a test or quarantine," he said, adding that he was still self-quarantining himself as a precaution. 

Trump, who was seen being photographed with Wajngarten and Vice President Mike Pence at the dinner party, said he was "not concerned" about the possibility of contracting the virus.

"Let's put it this way: I'm not concerned," Trump told reporters on March 12 while meeting Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office. However, a CNN report cited a source close to the president saying that he is indeed concerned about coming physically close with people who have tested positive for the deadly virus, including Wajngarten.

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