Rand Paul is first senator to test positive for coronavirus
Kentucky Republican Rand Paul is the first US senator to test positive for coronavirus, throwing an even greater sense of urgency into Senate negotiations over a massive stimulus package that had yet to come together Sunday afternoon.
A statement from Paul’s office posted to his Twitter account Sunday said he was “feeling fine” and was “tested out of an abundance of caution.”
But Senate Republicans, emerging from their closed-door lunch where they received the news, were extremely unsettled.
GOP senators told CNN Paul was in the gym with colleagues Sunday morning, and several pointed out how close Paul had sat to others during Senate lunches in recent days. Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas said he saw Paul in the Senate swimming pool Sunday, according to a source in the GOP lunch.
“This is a different ballgame now,” one Republican senator told CNN.
Senate Majority Whip John Thune of South Dakota said on the Senate floor that senators will be seeking medical advice.
“We’ll consult with the attending physician here at the Capitol about appropriate measures for those of us who have been in contact with the senator, but this is the kind of situation that Americans across the country are dealing with right now and it underscores the importance of acting immediately to deliver more relief for the American people,” Thune said.
Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah echoed similar concerns to reporters.
“All the senators are going to seek medical advice as to what action we should take to make sure that we don’t in any way spread this virus ourselves,” Romney told reporters. “We had a lunch together with Rand, and hope he’s doing very well, but we have to determine whether any of us should self-quarantine as a result of being in the same room.”
According to the post on Paul’s Twitter account, the senator is in quarantine.