COVID-19 has been rapidly surging across the United States in recent weeks. The Coronavirus has been spreading among various groups in close contact with each other, including football teams, family members, and elsewhere.

Political bodies are not immune from this either. Several weeks ago, President Donald Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19. Obviously, Trump is the highest-ranking U.S. government official confirmed to have contracted the novel coronavirus. And now, the second-highest-ranking official is Chuck Grassley.

Grassley is the president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate

Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa announced he's tested positive for COVID-19. A Republican, Grassley is one of the Senate's most influential members. He chairs the Senate Finance Committee. But aside from that, he's also the Senate's president pro tempore, a position that makes Grassley third in line for the U.S. Presidency. Following the U.S. vice president and the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The vice president, in theory, presides over the Senate. When they're not there, the president pro tempore is supposed to fill in for them. In practice, neither the vice president nor the president pro tempore usually presides over the Senate.

Various other senators fulfill the role on any given day of work. But according to CNN, Grassley did preside over the Senate the day before his positive test result. Meaning many other senators were likely exposed to him.

Grassley also attended at least one other meeting, a leadership meeting for Senate Republicans. Another attendee at the meeting was Senator Rob Portman of Ohio.

Portman has ironically since disclosed that he's participating in a trial for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Grassley has been in the U.S. Senate since 1981. He's been the president pro tempore since 2019. Before that, he represented Iowa's 3rd District in the U.S. House. He had also been in the Iowa House of Representatives, elected from Butler County in the state's central region.

Grassley's grandson, Pat, is the current speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives.

Ed Perlmutter also tests positive

At least one other member of Congress announced they'd contracted COVID-19 the same day as Grassley. That being Democratic U.S. Representative Ed Perlmutter. According to MSN, he's quarantining in his Washington, D.C. residence.

Perlmutter has represented Colorado's 7th District since 2007. The District is located in the Denver region. Previously, he was a member of the Colorado Senate.

Perlmutter and Grassley join dozens, literally dozens, of other Congressional members to contact COVID-19. Shortly before their announcements, a number of their colleagues also confirmed their diagnoses.

Including U.S. Representatives Don Young, Tim Walberg, and Cheri Bustos. Along with other political figures. Such as Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and HUD Secretary Ben Carson.