Coronavirus gets real for an aging Senate

“Our lifestyle is the exact opposite of a quarantine. We are by nature public animals and in contact with the public, and you know I spent the weekend going to a dozen events — a dozen — and half the time people elbow, fist bump, shake hands,” Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), 75, said. “I’m not scared, I’m healthy, I can deal with it — but I’m in the age group and I take it seriously.”

Senators described their institution as uniquely vulnerable to the virus, which has disproportionately affected the elderly. And they acknowledged that the nature of their jobs makes it much more likely that they will come in contact with the virus.

“Somewhere between a football team and a nursing home is where I’d put us,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), 64, quipped when asked about senators’ susceptibility…

“You can’t just not shake people’s hands,” Kaine said. “We are in a profession where we are with a ton of people and we are interacting with them in ways where even if it’s a disease where you can be asymptomatic and transmit. It’s challenging.”

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