Sen. Rob Portman on infrastructure bill and Senator Lindsey Graham’s Covid diagnosis

CNBC Television published this video item, entitled “Sen. Rob Portman on infrastructure bill and Senator Lindsey Graham’s Covid diagnosis” – below is their description.

Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) joins ‘Squawk Box’ to discuss what’s in the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure deal and Senator Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) coronavirus diagnosis. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO:

At least seven U.S. senators revealed Monday that they had attended a party with Sen. Lindsay Graham, who announced he had tested positive for Covid-19 on the heels of being a guest.

The South Carolina Republican said in a tweet that he began having flu-like symptoms Saturday night and went to the U.S. House physician Monday morning.

Graham attended a Saturday night party on fellow Senator Joe Manchin’s DC-based “Almost Heaven” house boat, according to Graham’s office, NBC News reported.

“I feel like I have a sinus infection and at present time I have mild symptoms,” said Graham, adding that he will quarantine for 10 days.

“I am very glad I was vaccinated because without vaccination I am certain I would not feel as well as I do now. My symptoms would be far worse.”

Other senators present at the party included Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., Chris Coons, D-Del., John Thune, R-S.D., and Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., their offices and NBC News confirmed. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., also attended, their offices confirmed with NBC News.

Speaking to reporters on his way out of the Capitol Monday, Manchin said he did not have a party, instead saying, “When you say party, there’s no parties, basically there’s gatherings we have on ‘Almost Heaven’… so we know each other and talk to each other.”

“We were outside. Okay? And we were all, everybody’s been vaccinated,” Manchin said when reporters asked him about the party, adding that Graham was “all good.”

When asked how long the party went on for, Manchin said, “Oh I don’t know whatever it takes [to] eat a hamburger or two … all outdoors.”

Spokespeople for Manchin and Kelly said the senators are fully vaccinated and following CDC guidelines for people exposed to a person who tested positive.

Thune’s office and Rosen confirmed the senators tested negative for Covid-19 on Monday. Coons told NBC that he tested negative, and Cantwell’s office confirmed that she is getting tested.

“It was a cookout. I mean — we literally had hotdogs and hamburgers at like four in the afternoon on the top of a boat that was moving in a, you know, stiff breeze,” Coons told NBC News.

The CDC guidelines include testing for Covid three-to-five days after exposure to someone with a confirmed or suspected case, and wearing a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they test negative, according to the CDC. Fully vaccinated individuals should also isolate if they test positive.

Under the guidelines, senators would appear to be able to attend votes while masked unless they receive a positive test result.

The lead Republican infrastructure negotiator, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, was invited to Manchin’s boat but did not attend the gathering, he told CNBC on Tuesday. He got a Covid-19 test after spending time around Graham in the Senate and it came back negative, he said.

Graham was one of 17 Republican senators who voted to advance the infrastructure plan last week. His absence, or a potential quarantine for other senators, could affect passage of the bill if a final vote is closer.

While the Senate has not reinstated a mask mandate, House Republicans have strongly opposed a renewed mask requirement in their chamber. The House has more than four times as many members as the Senate and a larger share of unvaccinated lawmakers.

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