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Politics South Carolina debate in question as Graham refuses to take COVID-19 test despite possible exposure

01:05  10 october  2020
01:05  10 october  2020 Source:   salon.com

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South Carolina Senate candidate Jaime Harrison called on Sen. Lindsey Graham (R- S . C .) to take a COVID - 19 test before their debate on Friday.

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Lindsey Graham, Jaime Harrison are posing for a picture: Lindsey Graham; Jaime Harrison © Provided by Salon Lindsey Graham; Jaime Harrison

Lindsey Graham and Jaime Harrison Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images

Despite recent exposure to at least one colleague on Capitol Hill with COVID-19, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has refused to take a test ahead of Friday's debate against Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison.

Harrison called on Graham on Thursday to "follow the example of Vice President Mike Pence and follow his own precedent from the last debate" by testing for COVID-19.

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In response, the Graham campaign released its own statement calling the request an "11th hour demand" made "without any medical justification."

But Graham's recent exposure to Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utath, who recently tested positive for COVID-19, would put him at heightened risk. Another colleague, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., who was also at the White House for the unveiling of Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court, also tested positive for the disease.

"Mr. Harrison is demanding special treatment," Graham said. "South Carolinians do not appreciate Mr. Harrison putting himself above others. If Mr. Harrison is not able to interact with South Carolinians on the same terms they live their lives, he should not be their senator."

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Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID - 19 cases have died. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected. (Note we updated this post with tweet above because Twitter took down Mel Q’s tweet after we published this post. We also included a screengrab from the CDC

In addition to Harrison, the debate's moderator and two auxiliary panelists all agreed to take a test.

Graham, a three-term incumbent who has found himself locked in a dead heat with the well-funded Harrison, claimed to be following the advice of doctors.

"I will continue to follow the guidance of my doctors — not my political opponent," he added.

Graham, who self-quarantined in March after he was exposed to the virus during a visit to President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club, did not take similar steps in recent days. The Republican senator said he would allow his temperature to be taken ahead of Friday's scheduled debate, as previously agreed upon.

"Whether Mr. Harrison attends tomorrow's debate is his decision — not mine," Graham concluded. "I will be there."

"Lindsey is so desperate," Harrison said during a Friday appearance on "The View," reframing his position as a matter of "treating our brothers and sisters equally."

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"We've let 3,500 people die in South Carolina because of the coronavirus," he said. "One of them was my aunt."

"The responsibility is not about us as individuals, but the people who are there. Hard-working people at that studio — and every single one of them is taking a test," Harrison said. "I'm taking a test right after this episode today, so why in the world can Lindsey Graham not just go and take a test?"

"It takes less than 30 minutes to go and get your nose swabbed," Harrison added. "Lindsey, what are you hiding? Why won't you take a test?"

After last week's debate, the Cook Political Report shifted the South Carolina Senate race from "lean Republican" to "toss-up," a nod in part to Harrison's continued strong performance in state polls and his national draw. The historically deep-red state had been viewed as a lock for Graham until Harrison's surge this summer.

The challenger, who last Saturday brought his own plexi-glass partition to the first debate in the wake of an outbreak among members of Trump's inner circle, threatened to withdraw from Friday's debate if Graham refused to get tested ahead of time.

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COVID - 19 - Frequently asked questions . Visit NSW Government - Coronavirus ( COVID - 19 ) for the Infection with COVID - 19 is diagnosed by finding evidence of the virus in respiratory samples such as If possible , consider someone who is well feed the expressed breast milk to your baby following

The Covid - 19 outbreak is largely over, and man’s attempts to slow, stop or understand the virus have failed. Science will eventually discover more about the He has been tireless in his questioning of the government’s interpretation of coronavirus statistics, although it has taken far too long for him to be

"We need to take the threat of this pandemic seriously, and the people of South Carolina understand that," Harrison said in his Thursday night statement. "With even the president of the United States personally affected, it's time for every leader to put people before political campaigning."

While Graham tested negative ahead of last week's debate, he had attended a hearing with Lee on Oct. 1. Officials recommend a period of 10 to 14 days of quarantine following known exposure, and the debate will mark only eight days since Graham's possible exposure.

"Of course, the upcoming debates can be held and held safely," Harrison said. "But, if Sen. Graham will not take a coronavirus test, I cannot responsibly debate in person tomorrow night and allow politics to put my family, my campaign staff, Sen. Graham's staff and members of the media at unnecessary risk."

Graham spokesperson TW Arrighi told Salon on Friday that the senator would show up to the debate later in the evening without taking a test. A Harrison campaign spokesperson did not immediately reply when Salon asked if Harrison would abstain.

Biden leads Trump by 12 points nationally, president trails on pandemic trust, in new poll .
Biden's 12-point lead in Sunday's ABC News/Washington Post poll was the latest in a series of surveys to find the president down by double digits.The poll, conducted Oct. 6-9, has Biden up 53%-41% against Trump among registered voters and 54%-42% among likely voters.

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