Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, one of Donald Trump’s biggest defenders, has officially tested positive for COVID-19.
According to his office, “[Sen. Johnson] returned to Washington on September 29 and shortly after was exposed to an individual who has since tested positive. After learning of this exposure, the senator was tested yesterday afternoon. This test came back positive.”
Senator Ron Johnson has tested positive for COVID, his office says. pic.twitter.com/zD20bCbwts
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) October 3, 2020
Sen. Johnson’s diagnosis makes him the third Republican senator to test positive for the virus in just 24 hours, joining Utah Sen. Mike Lee and North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis.
As MSNBC’s Ali Velshi reported on Saturday morning, the outbreak that is now sweeping through the GOP seems to stem from Trump’s Rose Garden event nominating Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
The list of Republican officials to contract COVID-19 continues to grow as GOP Sen. Ron Johnson has tested positive for the virus. pic.twitter.com/W2Ow3BynRS
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) October 3, 2020
[Hope Hicks] tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday morning before Trump’s New Jersey fundraiser. RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien, Kellyanne Conway, his former counselor, they’ve all tested positive now. And moments ago, Sen. Ron Johnson announced he has also tested positive. As has the University of Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins, Utah’s Republican Senator Mike Lee, North Carolina’s Republican Senator Thom Tillis, all of whom attended Trump’s announcement last Saturday nominating Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
The political consequences still remain unclear
As COVID-19 rips through the Republican Party, even hitting the now-hospitalized president of the United States, the political consequences of all of this remain unclear.
What we do know is this: The outbreak we are seeing hit the GOP seems to stem from one superspreader event at the White House – an event where Republican attendees were seen acting irresponsibly by not distancing and refusing to wear masks.
As Nate Silver pointed out on Twitter, none of this is a great look for the White House with just a month to go until Election Day.
Donald Trump and the Republican Party brought this upon themselves, and they may be on the verge of paying a hefty political price.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.