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."
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.
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.
"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.