U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19, his office announced Sunday.
“He is feeling fine and is in quarantine,” Paul’s office announced. “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.”
Paul, a Republican from Bowling Green, Kentucky, said he was not aware of direct contact with anyone infected and expects to be back in the Senate after his quarantine ends, according to his office.
Paul attended a fundraiser for the Speed Art Museum in Louisville on March 7, which was attended by a woman who later tested positive for COVID-19. Others in attendance included Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. Fischer’s wife has since tested positive for COVID-19 and Fischer remains in self-quarantine. Yarmuth also self-quarantined and Beshear tested negative for the novel corona virus.
Paul said he did not come in contact with the person and continued to go about his business.
That business included delaying a vote on a corona virus relief package in order to get the Senate to vote on an amendment that would have required people to have a Social Security number to claim the child tax credit, given the president permission to transfer existing money to pay for corona virus relief and required a total secession of troops out of Afghanistan by the end of the year.
“Several generations have grown up unfamiliar with the devastation of pandemics and even now, when it’s impossible to look the other way, the young and healthy rationalize their relative safety,” Paul said in a speech on the floor of the Senate Wednesday. “Psychologically, it’s easier for the young and healthy to view mortality as something that happens to the old and unhealthy.”
When Paul’s amendment ultimately failed, he voted against the relief package that included free testing, paid sick leave, unemployment aid and nutrition assistance. President Donald Trump signed the bill into law Wednesday night.
“(He) will continue to work for the people of Kentucky at this difficult time,” his office said in the announcement. “Ten days ago, our D.C. office began operating remotely, hence virtually no staff has had contact with Senator Paul.”
Paul is the first U.S. Senator to test positive for COVID-19, but the third member of Congress, according to the Washington Post. Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and Ben McAdams, D-Utah, previously tested positive.