Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, has tested positive for COVID-19, otherwise known as coronavirus.
Paul’s office, in a statement on Twitter, announced that the libertarian-minded senator was secluding himself out of precaution to prevent the spread of the disease to others. It was also announced that he was asymptomatic at this time.
“Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19. He is feeling fine and is in quarantine,” his office said. “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 noted deficit-hawk, was the only senator to vote against an $8.3 billion measure earlier this month to help combat the spread of coronavirus. Prior to his “no” vote, Paul had sought to get the funding from elsewhere, with an amendment proposed to the bill to fund it by cutting programs in the State Department, Axios reported.
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
With Paul’s quarantine, the possibility of “remote voting” for lawmakers becomes more likely. Two U.S. senators, Dick Durbin of Illinois and Rob Portman of Ohio, crafted a bipartisan resolution aiming to do just that, although Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has previously said he’s opposed to the idea.
Paul got tested without showing any symptoms for the disease — a move that President Donald Trump tried to discourage in press briefings this past week.
Trump had previously promised that anyone who wanted to get a test to see if they had the disease could get one, but quickly walked that back after it was an impossible promise to make, due to the shortage of testing kits available. He’s since said that not everyone needs to get a test for coronavirus, only those who show symptoms.
“We don’t want every American to go out and get a test…We want people that are — that have a problem, that have a problem with — they’re sneezing, they’re sniffling, they don’t feel good, they have a temperature,” Trump said in a press conference on Friday.
Featured image credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr