Senator David Perdue quarantined after contact with somebody contaminated with Covid days earlier than the Georgia drain
Georgia Senator David Perdue went into quarantine after contacting someone who tested positive for Covid-19, his campaign announced Thursday, less than a week before the Republican runoff election against Democrat Jon Ossoff.
Perdue and his wife Bonnie tested negative for the coronavirus according to their campaign, which did not specify how long the 71-year-old incumbent senator would be in quarantine.
His contest against Ossoff is one of two runoff elections in Georgia on Tuesday that will determine whether Republicans or Democrats will have majority control over the US Senate starting next month.
In the other race, incumbent Senator Kelly Loeffler, Perdue's Republican, meets Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock. Recent polls suggest close races in any runoff election.
Perdue was scheduled to perform with Loeffler on Thursday afternoon at a New Year's Eve rally and concert in Gainesville.
The guidelines issued by the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention require that people exposed to a person with Covid stay at home for 14 days after their last contact with an infected person.
"This morning Senator Perdue was informed that he had come into close contact with someone in the campaign who tested positive for COVID-19," said a statement from Perdue's campaign.
"Both Senator Perdue and his wife tested negative today, but according to his doctor's recommendations and CDC guidelines, they will be quarantined," the campaign said.
"The Senator and his wife have been tested regularly throughout the campaign and the team will continue to follow CDC guidelines. More information will be provided as it becomes available."
Ossoff later tweeted, "I hope David, Bonnie, the campaign staff and supporters stay healthy and COVID negative."
Loeffler quarantined himself at the start of the race after receiving inconclusive Covid test results on November 21. She didn't test positive for the virus.
Senator David Perdue (R-GA) speaks during a campaign rally as he runs for re-election at the Olde Blind Dog Irish pub in Milton, Georgia on December 21, 2020.
Al Drago | Reuters
In the final days leading up to Tuesday's runoff election, Republicans stepped up their efforts to get a vote as data shows that Democrats enjoyed an advantage in turnout.
When asked during a Fox News interview how closely she and Perdue coordinated their drainage efforts, Loeffler said, "Our campaigns have come together in a nationwide operation of 1,000 people with 40,000 volunteers and 8,000 election monitors. So we all work hard one day to get out across Georgia, work with voters in Georgia and make sure they know what this is about.
"The future of the country is at stake," said Loeffler of the runoff election.
President Donald Trump is said to be promoting Perdue and Loeffler in Georgia on Monday.
President-elect Joe Biden will travel to Atlanta on Monday, and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris plans to visit Savannah on Sunday to surprise Ossoff and Warnock in the final foray before election day.
If Perdue and Loeffler both win their runoff elections, Republicans will hold a 52-seat majority in the Senate. The Democratic caucus, made up of two independents, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Maine's Angus King, would have 48 seats.
If Ossoff and Warnock win, the Democratic caucus would have 50 seats. With the groundbreaking vote by Vice-President-Elect Harris, this would put the Democrats in control of the Senate. Democrats currently hold the House of Representatives and will continue to do so in 2021, despite losing a number of seats in that Chamber.
The Covid crisis was an important issue in the election campaign. Perdue, in particular, was scrutinized by the Democrats on charges of improper stock trading at the start of the pandemic.
Ossoff and Warnock have criticized Perdue and Loeffler's handling of the crisis, while the incumbent senators have accused the Democrats of stalling efforts to get an aid package through.
More recently, Ossoff and Perdue used Trump's call for $ 2,000 stimulus checks as an opportunity to criticize Senate Republicans for speaking out against a larger direct payment earlier in the Covid aid negotiation process. Perdue and Loeffler, who have strongly allied themselves with Trump, later parted ways with many Senate Republicans to support the president's call for larger direct payments.
Georgia has reported more than 647,800 cases of Covid this year, with 10,846 deaths attributable to the coronavirus in the state.
More than 2.8 million Georgians have already voted in Wednesday's runoff elections, a record turnout for such a competition in the state.