Coronavirus: Sen. Angus King tests positive for COVID-19

WASHINGTON — Sen. Angus King on Thursday announced that he tested positive Thursday morning for COVID-19, one day after he began feeling “mildly feverish.”

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In a statement, King said that he has “worked to follow the professional guidance and take all precautions necessary to protect myself, my loved ones, my staff, and my community,” including getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Despite all my efforts, when I began feeling mildly feverish yesterday, I took a test this morning at my doctor’s suggestion, and it came back positive,” he said.

“While I am not feeling great, I’m definitely feeling much better than I would have without the vaccine. I am taking this diagnosis very seriously, quarantining myself at home and telling the few people I’ve been in contact with to get tested in order to limit any further spread.”

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The Maine Independent urged people to “remain vigilant, follow the guidance from health professionals, and get vaccinated if you haven’t been.”

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King’s diagnosis was one of three announced by a member of Congress on Thursday. Officials with the office of Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Sen. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., also said they tested positive for COVID-19.

The diagnoses are the latest known breakthrough cases of COVID-19 in Congress.

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Earlier this month, fully vaccinated Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., tested positive for the viral infection after experiencing “flu-like symptoms.” Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., who is also fully vaccinated, announced last month that he had tested positive for COVID-19.

An unidentified White House official and an aide for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also tested positive for the viral infection last month despite being vaccinated.

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Research has shown that fully vaccinated people can spread the highly transmissible delta variant of the virus, which accounts for more than 80% of all COVID-19 cases reported nationwide; however, officials have noted that vaccination protects well against severe and life-threatening symptoms of the viral infection.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden said that the latest data “confirms we’re still in a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

“While we’re starting to see initial signs that cases may be declining in a few places, cases are still rising, especially among the unvaccinated,” he said. “Across the country, virtually all of the COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated. … Right now, it’s worse in states where overall vaccination rates are low.”

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As of Thursday morning, 51% of Americans, or 169.1 million people, have been fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since the start of the pandemic, officials have confirmed 37.1 million infections and reported more than 624,000 deaths nationwide, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

More than 209.6 million COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide, resulting in 4.3 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.