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Half dozen attendees at White House announcement for Supreme Court nominee contract COVID

Two senators, a university chief, the president and first lady among those testing positive a week after event.

Published: October 2, 2020 11:26pm

Updated: October 3, 2020 11:56am

At least a half dozen attendees at last weekend's White House announcement of Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Most of those who became infected announced their diagnoses on Friday, hours after President Trump and first lady Melania Trump announced they had tested positive for COVID-19 and were quarantined. The president was later helicoptered to Walter Reed Medical Center for precautionary treatment.

The infected included two Republican senators -- Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina -- Notre Dame University's president the Rev. John Jenkins, and former White House counselor Kelly Anne Conway, who announced her positive test on Twitter.

"Tonight I tested positive for COVID-19. My symptoms are mild (light cough) and I’m feeling fine," Conway wrote in a tweet. "I have begun a quarantine process in consultation with physicians."

Tillis, who is in a tight re-election race and attended a debate Thursday, said he had no symptoms and was quarantining. "Thankfully, I have no symptoms and I feel well," the senator said.

Jenkins, who oversees the university where Barrett worked before she joined a federal appeals court, announced Friday he had minor symptoms after testing positive.

"My symptoms are mild and I will continue work from home. The positive test is a good reminder for me and perhaps for all of how vigilant we need to be," Jenkins said in a statement.

Barrett and her husband had COVID-19 earlier in the summer, and she tested negative for the virus on Friday, the White House said.

Lee tweeted he hoped to recover in time to attend the Senate Judiciary Committee nomination hearings for Barrett, who Trump nominated to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

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