Early on Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Grassley announced that he was quarantining after being exposed to COVID-19. By late afternoon, Grassley released a statement announcing that he had tested positive for the virus, saying “I’ll be keeping up on my work for the people of Iowa from home … and I look forward to resuming my normal schedule when I can.”
This is big news for a variety of reasons. One obvious reason is that the Republican Party, its terrible handling the COVID-19 pandemic, and their members’ bad public health examples have led to the very real threats of sickness and death within their ranks. The other reason is that Chuck Grassley, up until today, had not missed a Senate vote since 1993. Being in actual COVID-19 quarantine will mean that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s attempts at further packing the courts during the lame duck session of Trump’s tenure as corrupter in chief will not include Sen. Grassley’s vote.