EVELYN HOCKSTEIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Sen. Lindsey Graham
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham has tested positive for COVID-19, announcing the news in a tweet and saying he is "very glad" that he is vaccinated, as his symptoms would be "far worse" had he not received his shots.
"I was just informed by the House physician I have tested positive for #COVID19 even after being vaccinated. I started having flu-like symptoms Saturday night and went to the doctor this morning," the 66-year-old Republican wrote on Twitter Monday afternoon.
Graham continued: "I feel like I have a sinus infection and at present time I have mild symptoms. I will be quarantining for ten days. I am very glad I was vaccinated because without vaccination I am certain I would not feel as well as I do now. My symptoms would be far worse."
In April, Graham — who told reporters he was vaccinated in February — urged his constituents to get their shots during a tour of a South Carolina clinic.
"I've got a simple message: I've been vaccinated. I'm glad I did. If you haven't been vaccinated, get vaccinated," Graham said. "As soon as we get all of our folks vaccinated as much as possible you hit about 80%, the quicker we can get back to normal. I think the vaccine is safe. I think it is effective."
He continued his April remarks to reporters by noting that those who are not vaccinated are in even more danger of getting sick.
"If you're vaccinated, you're pretty well good to go," Graham, a longtime ally of former President Donald Trump, said. "For those who haven't been vaccinated the infection rate is pretty darn high, you may be fine if you get it, but you may give it to somebody who will not be fine. So not only think about yourself but think about your neighbor."
Despite consensus from the medical and scientific communities that the vaccines are safe and necessary to prevent the spread of the virus, U.S. vaccination efforts have been met with a political divide, even as the highly contagious Delta variant sweeps the country.
Areas of the country that supported former President Trump now show the lowest rates of vaccination and higher rates of hospitalization and deaths from the virus.
Breakthrough cases — COVID-19 infections that occur in people who have been fully vaccinated against the virus — are rare, but possible and expected, as the vaccines are not 100% effective in preventing infections. Still, vaccinated people who test positive will likely be asymptomatic or experience a far milder illness than if they were not vaccinated. The majority of deaths from COVID-19 — around 98 to 99% — are in unvaccinated people.