Republican Kelly Loeffler has tested positive, inconclusive, and negative for coronavirus, all in two days. Nevertheless, she is isolating ahead of a January vote that is absolutely vital to the GOP’s control of the Senate.
Loeffler tested positive for the Covid-19 on Friday, but follow-up tests on Saturday were inconclusive, her campaign said. On Sunday evening, the Georgia Republican tested negative, spokesman Stephen Lawson said in a statement.
Lawson added that “out of an abundance of caution, she will continue to self-isolate and be retested again to hopefully receive consecutive negative test results.”
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Loeffler is not the only public figure to receive contradictory test results in recent weeks. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk declared that “something extremely bogus” was going on when he took four tests in one day earlier this month, with two coming back positive and two negative. Musk’s apparent skepticism over the test results caused a minor stir among Covid busybodies on Twitter, with liberals scolding him for not realizing that some tests “trade accuracy for speed.”
Loeffler’s on-off diagnosis comes at a critical time for the Republican senator. She is currently campaigning against progressive challenger Raphael Warnock to keep her Senate seat in a runoff election in January.
In the hours before her first positive test, Loeffler spent most of Friday campaigning with Vice President Mike Pence and fellow Georgia Republican Sen. David Perdue, who faces his own re-election battle in January against Democratic contender Jon Ossoff. Perdue, 70, is currently isolating at home following Loeffler’s positive test, a campaign spokeswoman told CNN on Sunday.
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Minimizing time away from the campaign trail is crucial not just to Loeffler and Perdue, but to the Republican Party as a whole. Should both candidates lose in January, the Senate would be balanced between 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats. In this case, presumed future Vice President Kamala Harris would cast the tie-breaking vote, putting the White House and both Houses of Congress in Democrat hands for the first time since 2011.
With both races neck and neck, the two parties have devoted all of their resources to turning out voters. The Democrats have poured millions of dollars into TV ads in the Peach State, while counting on stump speeches from failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and donations from a host of Hollywood glitterati. Loeffler and Perdue have appeared with Mike Pence, while out-of-state Republicans like Florida Governor Rick Scott have funded attack ads labelling Warnock and Ossoff as “radicals.”
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