It's official: Senator Rand Paul has become the first U.S. Senator to test positive for COVID-19.
Fortunately, it is being reported that the senator is doing well and is only experiencing mild symptoms.
He was tested because he was traveling extensively and interacting with a lot of people. The test was cautionary, but it turns out that he tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The senator says that he was not aware that anyone he interacted with had the virus.
Senator Paul is currently in self-quarantine.
More details on the breaking news below:
This makes Rand Paul the third lawmaker to test positive for COVID-19, though he is the first U.S. senator.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Utah) both tested positive last week.
Because he has tested positive for the virus, Paul will likely miss a scheduled vote related to the economic stimulus for the coronavirus.
The Hill has more details on Paul's test results and the potential ramifications below:
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has tested positive for the coronavirus, a spokesman said on Sunday, becoming the first senator known to contract the disease.
“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,” Sergio Gor, Paul’s spokesman said.
Gor added that Paul “was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person.”
Paul is the first senator and third lawmaker overall to announce that they had tested positive. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Utah) said last week they had tested positive.
The announcement from the two House members sparked a wave of decisions by their colleagues to self-quarantine. No senators immediately said they will self-quarantine.
Paul is now expected to miss a vote scheduled for Sunday afternoon related to a massive coronavirus package. Senate Republicans also want to take a final vote on the package on Monday.
Gor said that Paul would “be back in the Senate after his quarantine period ends.”
“Ten days ago, our D.C. office began operating remotely, hence virtually no staff has had contact with Senator Paul,” he said.
The Kentucky senator has been involved in the coronavirus package decisions before his diagnosis. He has spoken out against providing $1,000 to all Americans, saying the payment should be based on unemployment and those out of work from the containment policies.
Many have taken to Twitter to call for people regardless of political party to pray for Senator Paul.
See some of the heart-warming tweets below:
Senate Republicans and Democrats are still debating an enormous economic stimulus package.
Senator Paul was the only one to vote against the first round of emergency funding to fight COVID-19.
Much like his father, Senator Paul is known to lean more libertarian and is hawkish on government spending and expansion.
He will likely miss the vote on today's coronavirus package.
CNBC has more on Senator Paul's stance on government spending:
Paul is one of the most hawkish senators on fiscal policy, often arguing against new spending. He has repeatedly signaled opposition to the massive, multi-trillion dollar spending packages being negotiated by the White House and lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
He has instead proposed smaller measures including a payroll tax holiday and temporary enhancements to state unemployment programs.
As the virus continues to rapidly spread across the country, there is growing concern that government leaders will become infected.
President Donald Trump tested negative for the virus after contact with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s press secretary, who tested positive. Vice President Mike Pence also tested negative after a member of his office tested positive.
Much work is being done in D.C. to make sure that response to COVID-19 is excellent, but that constitutional rights are still respected.
We thank Senator Paul for continuing to fight with the president and for making sure that the Constitution is respected!
We join those in prayer for the senator and for all those impacted by the virus.