Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican who recently tested positive for Covid-19, said on Monday that he will do everything he can to vote for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, even if he has to wear a “moon suit” to do it.
“If we have to go in and vote, I have already told leadership, I’ll go in a moon suit.” Johnson said during an interview on 630 KHOW in Denver. “We think this is pretty important. People can be fairly confident that Mitch McConnell is dedicated to holding this vote,” he said.
Asked if he would find a way to vote even if he tested positive the day before, but his vote was needed, Johnson said he “would certainly try.”
“I would certainly try to find a way, making sure that everybody was safe,” he said, adding, “So you can go into a medical clinic and you can take the precautions and do it safely, but we wouldn’t be able to do that on the floor of the Senate? Where there is a will there is a way. We can do these things.”
Two other Republican senators in addition to Johnson tested positive for coronavirus in recent days along with Trump, a situation that has threatened to upend what was expected to be a relatively smooth, and quick, confirmation of the President’s third Supreme Court justice appointment. Confirming Barrett to the high court remains a top priority for Senate Republicans, who plan to press ahead and do whatever it takes to push for confirmation of the nominee as quickly as possible even in the face of the recent diagnoses within their ranks.
“We are full steam ahead with the fair, thorough, and timely confirmation process that Judge Barrett, the court and the nation deserve,” McConnell, a Kentucky Republican and Senate Majority Leader, said Monday.
Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have signaled they won’t back any GOP nominee ahead of Election Day. That leaves little room for McConnell to find the votes if members of his conference contract or remain sick with Covid-19 since he can only afford to lose three Republican senators’ votes and still push through a nominee.
The other two Republican senators who recently tested positive for coronavirus — Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina — are both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is slated to start confirmation hearings on October 12.
In an update on his condition, Tillis’ office said on Monday that the senator is no longer exhibiting any symptoms.
Johnson said on Monday during the interview that he feels “perfectly normal,” and said that he has “not had any symptoms whatsoever.”
“Who knows. This is a crazy disease. It is impossible to really predict, but right now I feel perfectly fine,” he said.