Georgia’s Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a Republican campaigning in a high-stakes runoff that could determine Senate control, is isolating himself “out of caution,” a campaign spokesperson said on Sunday, after a series of coronavirus tests. mixed messages as to whether she had contracted the disease. The latest results show that she had tested negative.
According to Stephen Lawson, a campaign spokesperson, a rapid test Ms Loeffler performed on Friday morning came back negative, but a second test she also performed that morning – a chain reaction test by polymerase, or PCR, which is believed to be more accurate – returned a positive result Friday evening.
Between receiving the two conflicting test results, Ms Loeffler attended campaign-related events on Friday, including a rally with Vice President Mike Pence and Senator David Perdue of Georgia, Lawson said.
Ms Loeffler, 49, received another PCR test on Saturday morning. But it was “inconclusive,” Lawson said of the results, which arrived on Saturday night. On Sunday afternoon, Lawson released another statement saying “the senator’s previously inconclusive PCR results were retested overnight and the results thankfully came back negative.”
He added: “Out of caution, she will continue to self-isolate and be tested again to hopefully receive consecutive negative test results. We will share these results as they become available. She will continue to speak with medical experts and follow CDC guidelines.
Ms Loeffler informed those with whom she had had contact while awaiting the results of further testing, he said.
“She has no symptoms and will continue to follow CDC guidelines in quarantining until the retest is successful, and an update will be provided at that time,” Lawson said. .
Ms Loeffler has hosted recent events with prominent Republicans including Mr Pence, Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Mr Perdue, who is also in a run-off election that could determine control of the Senate. Mr Perdue is staying at home until more details are known about Ms Loeffler’s condition.
“Senator Perdue will remain at home until Senator Loeffler receives confirmation of his test results,” John Burke, a spokesperson for the Perdue campaign, wrote in a text message Sunday.
Mr Perdue, 70, encouraged people to wear masks to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. But he also appeared at rallies where people were not wearing masks. A friday Tweeter of Ms. Loeffler includes a photo that shows the two Senators in an interior setting without masks.
A spokesman for Mr Pence, Devin O’Malley, said that “pending a confirmatory test from Senator Loeffler, Vice President Pence is in regular consultation with the White House medical unit and will follow up on CDC directives as it has done in other circumstances. when there was close contact.
The last time Mr Pence was considered close contact was last month when his chief of staff, Marc Short, tested positive.
Mr Pence continued to campaign at that time, with the White House claiming he was performing ‘essential’ duties that exempted him from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines calling on people to self-quarantine for 14 days. after exposure to the virus.
Ms Loeffler, a businesswoman who is the richest member of the Senate, was temporarily appointed to her Senate seat late last year. She will face Reverend Dr. Raphael G. Warnock, a Democrat, in an election on January 5, when Georgian voters also decide between Mr. Perdue and his opponent, Jon Ossoff, a Democrat.