Former United States Sen. Alfonse D'Amato was diagnosed with the coronavirus...

Former United States Sen. Alfonse D'Amato was diagnosed with the coronavirus earlier this month. He was released Wednesday from a Roslyn hospital. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

Former United States Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, one of Long Island's most influential political figures, was released from St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn on Wednesday after being treated for COVID-19.

D'Amato, 83, tested positive for the coronavirus in mid-November and immediately self-quarantined, his office said in a statement last week. He admitted himself to the hospital on Nov. 20 "out of an abundance of caution," the statement said.

"The senator is being released from St. Francis Hospital this afternoon [and is] forever grateful to its staff of extraordinary professionals who ensured his recovery from COVID," D'Amato's office said in a statement Wednesday. "He will continue his recuperation at home mindful of the gift of good health and able to celebrate Thanksgiving with renewed appreciation of the holiday and those around him."

D’Amato declined to comment through spokesman Gary Lewi, who said the longtime Republican senator was in good spirits.

"Being released before Thanksgiving puts it all in perspective," Lewi said.

D’Amato, of Lido Beach, is a former Hempstead Town Supervisor who served three terms in the U.S. Senate from 1981 to 1999. He lost his 1998 reelection bid to now-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat.

D'Amato is the last Republican to represent the state in the U.S. Senate.

While there, he earned the nickname "Senator Pothole" for staying carefully attuned to the needs of local constituents.

He executed two of the longest filibusters in U.S. history, speaking for more than 23 hours in 1986 — including reading the Washington, D.C. phone book — while attempting to block a Defense Department bill that would have defunded a jet-trainer program in upstate New York. His efforts were ultimately successful.

After leaving office, D'Amato founded Manhattan-based Park Strategies LLC, a lobbying firm.

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