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Fri Aug 20, 2021, 07:22 PM

POLITICS Sens. Hickenlooper, Wicker and King test positive for Covid after being fully vaccinated


"Sens. Roger Wicker, Angus King, and John Hickenlooper, who are all vaccinated for the coronavirus, tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday after experiencing symptoms.

Wicker, King and Hickenlooper are the latest in a string of prominent politicians to announce positive coronavirus tests in recent weeks despite being fully vaccinated. Others include Republicans Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas.

"Senator Wicker is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, is in good health, and is being treated by his Tupelo-based physician," Phillip Waller, Wicker's communications director, said in a statement. The 70-year-old Wicker "is isolating, and everyone with whom Senator Wicker has come in close contact recently has been notified."

The Senate is in recess this week, and many of the chamber's members are in home states either preparing for 2022 elections or checking in with district offices. Wicker is a Republican from Mississippi, King is an independent from Maine and Hickenlooper is a Democrat from Colorado.


"Despite all my efforts, when I began feeling mildly feverish yesterday, I took a test this morning at my doctor's suggestion, and it came back positive," King, 77, said in a statement. "While I am not feeling great, I'm definitely feeling much better than I would have without the vaccine."

The three positive tests came as the Biden administration ramps up efforts to encourage Americans to seek booster shots starting next month amid a growing pool of data that shows vaccine protections fade over time.

"After experiencing mild symptoms, I tested positive for a breakthrough case of COVID-19," Hickenlooper said in a statement Thursday afternoon. "I'm feeling much better and will continue to isolate at the direction of the Congressional Attending Physician. I'm grateful for the vaccine (and the scientists behind it) for limiting my symptoms and allowing us to continue our work for Colorado."

Three of Washington's top health experts on Wednesday provided further details on how the immune system's protections wane over time.

It's now "very clear" that immunity starts to fall after the initial two doses, and with the dominance of the delta variant, "we are starting to see evidence of reduced protection against mild and moderate disease," according to a statement signed by CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock, White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci and other U.S. health leaders."

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