Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has tested positive for coronavirus, his office announced Sunday afternoon.
He is the first known United States senator to test positive. Paul notably had part of his lung removed in the fall of 2019. The surgery followed an altercation with his Kentucky neighbor back in 2017. He suffered pneumonia as a result of the incident.
Paul had been in close quarters with other Senate Republicans this past week while negotiating the third phase of the White House’s coronavirus stimulus plan.
I took a picture inside the Senate GOP lunch when the door was open Friday and saw Rand Paul seated next to other senators. He is visible in this photo. pic.twitter.com/4qwZo5YdBs
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 22, 2020
“He is feeling fine and is in quarantine,” his official account tweeted. “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.” (RELATED: Trump Gives Ford, General Motors, Tesla ‘The Go Ahead’ To Mass Produce Coronavirus Ventilators)
Paul’s office “began operating remotely, hence virtually no staff has had contact” with the senator, Paul’s communications director Sergio Gor told the Daily Caller. Gor said the senator is expected to return to the Senate after his quarantine period is over and will “continue working for the people of Kentucky.”
Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19. 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.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2020
Paul was the only senator to vote against the $8 billion coronavirus funding bill first proposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Two congressmen, Florida Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Utah Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams, have also tested positive. At least 20 other congressmen have quarantined over coronavirus fears.
A staffer from Vice President Mike Pence’s office tested positive on Friday. Pence has subsequently been tested, and his results came back negative.