Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson, one of Donald Trump's greatest defenders, has officially tested positive for COVID-19.
According to his office, “(Sen. Johnson) returned to Washington on September 29 and was exposed shortly thereafter to a person who has since tested positive. After learning of this exposure, the Senator was tested yesterday afternoon. This test turned out positive. "
Senator Ron Johnson has tested positive for COVID, according to his office. 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, along with Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina.
As MSNBC's Ali Velshi reported on Saturday morning, the outbreak that is now gripping the GOP appears to have stemmed from Trump's rose garden event, which nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court.
The list of Republican officials scheduled to sign COVID-19 continues to grow as GOP Senator Ron Johnson tests 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 fundraiser in New Jersey. RNC chairman Ronna McDaniel, Trump's campaign manager Bill Stepien, Kellyanne Conway, his former advisor, have all now tested positive. And just moments ago, Senator Ron Johnson announced that he had also tested positive. As did the President of the University of Notre Dame, Rev. John Jenkins, the Republican Senator from Utah, Mike Lee, the Republican Senator from North Carolina, Thom Tillis, who all attended Trump's announcement last Saturday, Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Nominate Supreme Court.
The political consequences remain unclear
As COVID-19 breaks through the Republican Party and even hits the now-hospitalized President of the United States, the political ramifications of all of this remain unclear.
What we do know is this: The outbreak we're seeing at the GOP appears to stem from a superspreader event at the White House – an event in which Republican participants acted irresponsibly by not distancing themselves and refusing to use masks to wear.
As Nate Silver pointed out on Twitter, none of this is a great look for the White House, only a month away from election day.
Donald Trump and the Republican Party have taken this upon themselves, and they may be on the verge of paying a heavy political price.
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Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He received his Bachelor of Arts 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 the Outreach Organizer of the Affordable Care Act in 2014, helping Northeast Ohio residents get health insurance.