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Published on October 3, 2020 9:10 PM

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Coronavirus infects three senators, derailing Senate schedule
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Saturday that the full Senate will not return until Oct. 19 — two weeks later than planned — after three GOP senators tested positive for the coronavirus.

But McConnell also vowed that the Senate would still move ahead with Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination, with the Senate Judiciary Committee set to begin confirmation hearings on Oct. 12.

"The Senate's floor schedule will not interrupt the thorough, fair, and historically supported confirmation process previously laid out by Chairman [Lindsey] Graham," McConnell said in a statement announcing the schedule change.

"Certainly all Republican members of the committee will participate in these important hearings," added McConnell who noted the panel has already been allowing members to participate virtually.

The Judiciary Committee released a statement soon after affirming there was "no change" to the nomination hearing schedule.

McConnell also said he spoke by phone Saturday with President Donald Trump, who is receiving treatment for the coronavirus at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center just outside Washington, and said the two discussed "confirming Judge Barrett" among other priorities.

Still, the growing infection in the GOP ranks could be a problem. Three Republican senators announced positive coronavirus diagnoses in the past 24 hours, including one, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, on Saturday morning. Three more GOP senators have said they are quarantining after potential exposure to the virus, which significantly narrows the GOP 53-member majority.

The Senate had been scheduled to come back to Washington on Monday to begin advancing other judicial nominees, but McConnell has been forced to ...