Sen. Laphonza Butler Tests Positive for COVID-19

by Xara Aziz
Susan Walsh / AP file

California Senator Laphonza Butler has tested positive for COVID-19, she announced Monday.

Following the announcement, she said she would remain away from the Capitol until she has fully recovered.

“Unfortunately after a pretty busy schedule, I have tested positive for Covid,” Butler wrote in a post on X. “I am following CDC guidelines and am resting up for the work ahead. I look forward to joining my colleagues as soon as I am available.”

This is not the first time Sen. Butler has tested positive since assuming the role of the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who passed last September at the age of 90. The first time Butler tested positive was in mid-October, less than one month into her role as senator.

Butler’s absence on the Hill means Senate will more than likely be split 50/50 amongst Republicans and Democrats. This is partly due to Sen. Bob Menendez also gone while dealing with his bribery trial.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) plans to continue to make his bill on reproductive rights top priority on the floor, including a note on Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s bill to protect access to women seeking in vitro fertilization.

According to a recent Pew Research Center survey: “just 20% of Americans view the coronavirus as a major threat to the health of the U.S. population today and only 10% are very concerned they will get it and require hospitalization. This data represents a low ebb of public concern about the virus that reached its height in the summer and fall of 2020, when as many as two-thirds of Americans viewed COVID-19 as a major threat to public health.”

It continues: “Just 28% of U.S. adults say they have received the updated COVID-19 vaccine, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended last fall to protect against serious illness. This stands in stark contrast to the spring and summer of 2021, when long lines and limited availability characterized the initial rollout of the first COVID-19 vaccines. A majority of U.S. adults (69%) had been fully vaccinated by August 2021.”

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