MADISON — Two prominent Wisconsin Republicans may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, including one who may self-quarantine after complaining about there being too much talk of people dying from COVID-19 and not enough about people who have recovered.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, and former Gov. Scott Walker either met or were in close proximity to people who recently tested positive for COVID-19, the virus originating in Wuhan, China that has rapidly spread around the globe.
A Johnson spokesman said the senator, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee, met March 2 with a member of the Spanish parliament who has tested positive for COVID-19.
“Senator Johnson is consulting with doctors about the need to self-quarantine, but he feels healthy and well,” spokesman Aaren Johnson said.
Walker was supposed to give a speech on Friday to the Teton County GOP in Wyoming but is reportedly in voluntary self-quarantine. The Jackson Hole News & Guide reported on Wednesday that Walker attended the Conservative Political Action Conference where an attendee who came into contact with several high-profile politicians, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, was confirmed to have COVID-19.
In a statement from his spokesman, Walker said upon learning the information that the person identified by the American Conservative Union tested positive for the disease, Walker canceled all events and has been staying in his home in Milwaukee through Friday.
Walker, however, appeared on the TV show Fox and Friends on March 3.
The development that Johnson may have been exposed to the COVID-19 comes after the New York Times on Thursday reported that Johnson said the news media has not focused enough on the people who have recovered from the virus.
“Right now all people are hearing about are the deaths,” Johnson said. “I’m sure the deaths are horrific, but the flip side of this is the vast majority of people who get coronavirus do survive.”
So far, the virus has sickened more than 137,300 in at least 113 countries and more than 5,000 have died.
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