Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) announced on Sunday in a tweet that he has tested positive for the Coronavirus, becoming the third member of Congress and the first senator to confirm contracting the virus.
“Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19,” Sergio Gor, Paul’s spokesman tweeted on the Senator’s twitter account. “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. Ten days ago, our D.C. office began operating remotely, hence virtually no staff has had contact with Senator Rand Paul.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2020
Paul’s office said the senator is “feeling fine and is in quarantine,” and will return to Washington, D.C., after his quarantine period ends.
“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.”
Shortly after Paul announced he has tested positive, Senators Mike Lee and Mitt Romney were the first two lawmakers to say they would be self-quarantining for two weeks after having had “extended” interactions with the Kentucky Senator and would have to miss Sunday vote related to a massive coronavirus stimulus package. In separate statements that they are undertaking the measures because of their exposure to the Kentucky lawmaker.
Lee said in a statement that “given the timing, proximity, and duration of my exposure to Senator Paul,” he was told to self-quarantine.
“That means no traveling or voting,” Lee said. “But I will continue to make sure Utah’s voice is heard as we shape the federal response to the Coronavirus through phone, text, email and whatever other means are available.”
After consulting with a congressional doctor, Lee said he would not take a test for the disease.
Romney said in a statement Sunday evening that he sat next to Paul for “extended periods in recent days” and, thus, would “immediately” self-quarantine and not vote on the Senate floor.
“Since Senator Romney sat next to Senator Paul for extended periods in recent days and consistent with [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidance, the attending physician has ordered him to immediately self-quarantine and not to vote on the Senate floor,” Romney’s office said in a statement on Sunday.
Paul is the first U.S. senator to test positive for the coronavirus. Last week, two members of the House, Congressmen Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Ben McAdams(D-UT) announced they had tested positive.