Paul tweeted that he “is feeling fine and is in quarantine.”
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on Sunday became the first known senator to test positive for COVID-19.
“Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19,” Paul’s account tweeted. “He is feeling fine and is in quarantine. He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. He was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person.”
“He expects to be back in the Senate after his quarantine period ends and will continue to work for the people of Kentucky at this difficult time,” the thread continued. “Ten days ago, our D.C. office began operating remotely, hence virtually no staff has had contact with Senator Rand Paul.”
Paul’s chief of staff later clarified that he “decided to get tested after attending an event where two individuals subsequently tested positive for COVID-19, even though he wasn’t aware of any direct contact with either one of them.”
Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., told colleagues at Sunday’s policy meeting that he saw Paul at the Senate gym earlier in the day, his communications director confirmed on Twitter.
Can confirm that Sen. @JerryMoran briefly saw Sen. Rand Paul at the Senate gym this morning and that he shared this information with his colleagues during today’s policy meeting. This morning, Sen. Moran followed CDC guidelines and kept a safe distance between him and Sen. Paul.229Twitter Ads info and privacy154 people are talking about this
Paul’s account later tweeted that he visited the gym before finding out he had tested positive.
Paul is the third member of Congress to announce a positive test for coronavirus, following Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and Ben McAdams, D-Utah. Several Republican lawmakers also self-quarantined earlier this month after learned they had interacted with someone who tested positive for the virus at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Paul, a libertarian-leaning member, forced a delay on the Senate’s first coronavirus aid bill by pushing a doomed amendment. He later voted against it.
Paul’s diagnosis has triggered a discussion about whether senators, many of whom are in older age brackets, should go home immediately or self-quarantine, given their likely contact with Paul, who Paul was on the Senate floor extensively over the last week.
That’s created fresh uncertainty about how Congress can finish and pass emergency coronavirus legislation, on which Democrats and Republicans are still struggling to reach a deal.
Paul suffered lung damage as a result of having his ribs broken during an altercation with a neighbor in 2017. Last year, he had part of his lungs removed in surgery. Paul’s chief of staff told NBC News that the surgery puts the senator “in a higher risk category as it relates to pulmonary issues.”
His father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, last week referred to the coronavirus crisis as a “hoax.” The pandemic has infected more than 300,000 people worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Source: NBC News