Senator Lindsey Graham, who announced he tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, was in attendance at a cookout on Saturday with several other senators on Joe Manchin’s Washington, D. C., houseboat.
The South Carolina Republican Senator said he began exhibiting flu-like symptoms on Saturday and went to the doctor on Monday when he tested positive.
Graham attended a party aboard Manchin’s D.C. houseboat, “Almost Heaven,” along with at least six other U.S. Senators, including Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., Chris Coons, D-Del., John Thune, R-S.D., and Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.
Manchin characterized the event as a “gathering” and not a party. When asked how long the “gathering” lasted, Manchin said, “Oh I don’t know whatever it takes [to] eat a hamburger or two … all outdoors.”
“There was no celebration. We’re just trying to keep people together and do things in a bipartisan way. That’s what we do,” Manchin said
“It was a cookout. I mean — we literally had hotdogs and hamburgers at like four in the afternoon on the top of a boat that was moving in a, you know, stiff breeze,” Coons said.
Spokespeople for Manchin and Kelly said the two are fully vaccinated and following CDC guidelines following an exposure to a positive case.
Thune, Rosen, and Coons confirmed they both tested negative on Monday. Cantwell is getting tested.
The CDC guidelines include testing for Covid three-to-five days after exposure to someone with a confirmed or suspected case, and wearing a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they test negative, according to the CDC. Fully vaccinated individuals should also isolate if they test positive.
Under the CDC guidelines, the senators would be able to attend a vote while masked unless they test positive.
On Monday night, most GOP Senators were on the Senate floor unmasked, with a few exceptions.
Masked GOP Senators included Richard Shelby (Alabama), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Rob Portman (Ohio), Mitt Romney (Utah), Dan Sullivan (Alaska), and Susan Collins (Maine).