Lamar Alexander to self-quarantine after staffer tests positive for coronavirus

Alexander Chief of Staff David Cleary said in a statement that the Republican senator tested negative for the virus May 7 and has shown no symptoms, but "by a plethora of caution, has decided not to return to Washington, DC, and even quarantine in Tennessee for 14 days. "

"Almost all of the senator's Washington, DC, employees work from home, and there is no need for any other employee to self-quarantine," Cleary said, noting that the employee who tested positive is "getting home and doing it we will."

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Alexander, the GOP chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, will still chair the executive committee on Tuesday by videoconferencing, the statement said.

In fact, all of the witnesses took part in that hearing – centered around the federal government's response to the virus – will testify externally.
All witnesses from the Trump administration will testify remotely at the coronavirus hearing this week

The hearing should already contain external testimony from Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Stephen Hahn, Commissioner for Food and Drug Administration, both of whom are quarantined after potential exposure to the virus last week.

The other two witnesses – Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary of health at the Department of Health and Human Services – had planned to appear in person, but will now do so externally.

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That shift comes after Fauci told CNN's Jake Tapper on Saturday that he would begin with a "modified quarantine" after a potential exposure to the virus.

"After consulting with Dr. Fauci, and in a plethora of caution for our witnesses, senators and staff, all four witnesses in the administration will appear at a video conference due to these unusual circumstances," Alexander said in a statement earlier Sunday.

He said he consulted Chief of Staff at White House Mark Meadows Saturday to make a change in administration policy. The administration had previously countered that their officials should testify externally.

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The upcoming hearing will give the senators in the panel a chance to hear "about what federal, state and local governments are doing to help Americans get back to work and back to school as quickly and safely as possible," according to a release from the committee.

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