Their second debate may not happen as planned because, as Harrison says, ‘it’s not just about me.’
Democratic South Carolina Senate candidate Jaime Harrison has issued a statement in response to incumbent Senator Lindsey Graham’s refusal to take a COVID-19 test ahead of their scheduled debate in Spartanburg despite being in the presence of at least two U.S. senators just eight days ago who have since tested positive.
Democratic South Carolina Senate candidate Jaime Harrison (above) has issued a statement in response to Sen. Lindsey Graham’s refusal to take a coronavirus test ahead of Saturday’s debate. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
Utah Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, tested positive for the virus last week. Graham said that he was tested after being made aware of Lee’s positive status.
Graham has reported testing negative.
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In his statement Thursday night, Harrison noted that Graham attended a hearing with Lee on Oct. 1, and Lee and Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina have both tested positive for coronavirus.
“Medical experts recommend waiting fourteen days after exposure to coronavirus, and on Friday it will be only eight days since Sen. Graham was exposed to his Senate colleagues,” the statement reads.
I’m excited for tomorrow’s debate with @LindseyGrahamSC, but we need real leadership in this pandemic.
The debate moderators and I have agreed to take a COVID test prior to debating. I’ve scheduled my test, and I am calling on Sen. Graham to do the same.
— Jaime Harrison (@harrisonjaime) October 8, 2020
“The debate moderators and I have agreed to take a COVID test prior to debating. I’ve scheduled my test, and I am calling on Sen. Graham to do the same,” Harrison wrote on Twitter.
Graham issued a statement on Thursday that said, “South Carolinians do not appreciate Harrison putting himself above others,” he wrote on the social media platform. “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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“Is any other South Carolinian demanding that every person they come in contact with be tested before they meet?” the senator asked in his statement.
Graham said that he will “continue to follow the guidance of my doctors, not my political opponent.”
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In posting his statement, he wrote, “whether Mr. Harrison attends tomorrow’s debate is his decision, not mine. I will be there.”
Harrison brought a plexiglass barrier to his first debate with Graham last week. During the debate, he said he put the plexiglass up because “it’s not just about me.” He said he wanted to protect himself and his family, including his grandmother.
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The Senate race between Harrison and Graham is tight, now called a “toss-up.” In an interview with the Powerhouse Politics podcast, Harrison compared it to a “David versus Goliath race.”
“But,” he said, “we know how that race ended.”
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The post Jaime Harrison slams Graham for not taking COVID-19 test before debate appeared first on TheGrio.