Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett was diagnosed with COVID-19 over the summer and has since recovered, according to a report from The Washington Post.
The news comes as multiple Republicans, including President Donald Trump, tested positive for the coronavirus this week following a White House ceremony for Barrett’s nomination on September 26.
Calls to stop the process
Immediately following the recent death of the late Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Democrats have been pushing for the empty seat on the high court not to be replaced until after the November election.
Top Democrats have made bids to try and halt the process, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) who made a formal request of the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to stop the confirmation process, citing a lack of time and historical precedent, Fox News reported.
Feinstein made the request despite the fact that there have been three instances in modern times during which nominees were approved in similar time frames. In fact, the most recent was Ginsburg, who was nominated by former President Bill Clinton and was approved by the Senate in under 45 days.
Following President Donald Trump’s announcement on Friday that he had tested positive for COVID-19, Democrats again requested a delay, arguing that because Barrett was recently with the president, she could be infected and should self-isolate, ABC News reported.
Barrett recovered already
As it turns out, The Washington Post investigated this possibility and reported that Barrett has already had COVID-19, citing three anonymous officials.
According to the report, Barrett had the virus during the summer and recovered. She has also been tested again as recently as Friday and the results were negative.
Despite Democrats’ pushback, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has stated that Barrett’s nomination process will proceed “full steam ahead,” The Hill reported.
Just finished a great phone call with @POTUS. He’s in good spirits and we talked business — especially how impressed Senators are with the qualifications of Judge Barrett. Full steam ahead with the fair, thorough, timely process that the nominee, the Court, & the country deserve.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) October 2, 2020
Republicans are considering the possibility of holding virtual hearings, while Democrats predictably are objecting.
As it stands now, hearings are expected to start on Oct. 12 and barring any further delays, Barrett could be approved as early as Oct. 22, Fox News reported.