Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced on Aug. 2 that he has a “breakthrough” COVID-19 infection, despite being fully vaccinated against the virus.
“I was just informed by the House physician I have tested positive for COVID-19, even after being vaccinated,” he said in a statement, noting that he will isolate for at least 10 days.
Graham is the first senator in several months to have tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. He’s also the first publicly known “breakthrough” case among members of Congress.
Most senators have been vaccinated against the virus.
I was just informed by the House physician I have tested positive for #COVID19 even after being vaccinated.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) August 2, 2021
I started having flu-like symptoms Saturday night and went to the doctor this morning.
The South Carolina Republican noted that on the night of July 31, he “started having flu-like symptoms Saturday night and went to the doctor this morning, ” and that he currently feels “like I have a sinus infection and at present time I have mild symptoms.” The senator also praised the vaccine and claimed that if he hadn’t received it, his symptoms would likely be worse, echoing claims made by federal health officials in recent weeks.
According to reporters in Washington, Graham was spotted briefly at the Capitol building on Aug. 2 and spoke with members of the press.
At 66 years old, Graham is considered to be at increased risk of developing serious COVID-19 symptoms, as more than 80 percent of all deaths attributed to the virus involved individuals older than the age of 65, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In recent months, as the vaccine was being rolled out nationwide, federal and state officials have called on older Americans to receive the vaccine.
Graham was inoculated in December of last year and posted pictures of his vaccination on Twitter.
“If enough of us take it, we will get back to normal lives,” Graham said of the vaccine at the time. “Help is on the way.”
Graham also rejected claims that were made earlier this year by colleague Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has pushed for natural immunity for individuals who have contracted and recovered from COVID-19 and instead argued that people should get vaccinated. Paul announced that he won’t get vaccinated because he has already contracted and recovered from the virus, meaning he has enough antibodies to stave off a potential future infection.
A recent study found that individuals who recovered from the virus have a broad and robust immunity to it. That study, commissioned by Emory University, found that most of the patients who recovered from the CCP virus mounted a strong and wide-ranging immune response to it for up to 250 days.
On Aug. 2, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden administration officials “do certainly hope that Senator Graham has a speedy recovery and experiences mild symptoms, and we wish him the best of health with that.”