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Chuck Grassley, One Of The Oldest Members Of Congress, Has The Coronavirus

Grassley, 87, is the second oldest US senator and third in line to the presidency.

Last updated on November 17, 2020, at 6:56 p.m. ET

Posted on November 17, 2020, at 6:32 p.m. ET

Sarah Silbiger / Getty Images

Sen. Chuck Grassley, one of the oldest members of Congress and third in line to the presidency, said Tuesday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Grassley, 87, a Republican from Iowa, announced his positive COVID-19 test results on Twitter hours after saying that he learned he had been exposed to the virus, though he did not say how.

"I'm feeling good + will keep up on my work for the ppl of Iowa from home," Grassley tweeted, adding that he looked forward to getting back to his "normal schedule."

I’ve tested positive for coronavirus. I’ll b following my doctors’ orders/CDC guidelines & continue to quarantine. I’m feeling good + will keep up on my work for the ppl of Iowa from home. I appreciate everyone’s well wishes + prayers &look fwd to resuming my normal schedule soon

Grassley is the second-oldest sitting member of the US Senate. Only Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, is older.

He is also the president pro tempore of the Senate given he is the longest-serving Republican currently in the chamber, having represented Iowa for almost 40 years. This position means he is third in the presidential order of succession.

The senator's positive test results come during a surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, including his home state.

As of Tuesday, more than 11.3 million cases of the virus have been confirmed in the US and over 248,000 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. It took less than a week for the US to jump from 10 million to 11 million cases.

In Iowa, cases have been spiking over the past several weeks. As of Tuesday, the state had a 14-day test positivity rate of 22.8% and there were more than 1,500 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, according to state data. Since the pandemic began, health officials there have confirmed more than 191,000 cases and 2,028 deaths from COVID-19.

On Monday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the state's first mask mandate after previously dismissing face-covering orders as "feel good" measures.

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