U.S Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., on Sunday became the first senator known to have tested positive for COVID-19.
“Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19,” Paul’s account tweeted. “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,” the thread continued. “Ten days ago, our D.C. office began operating remotely, hence virtually no staff has had contact with Senator Rand Paul.”
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
Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., told colleagues at Sunday’s policy meeting that he saw Paul at the Senate gym earlier in the day, his communications director confirmed on Twitter.
Can confirm that Sen. @JerryMoran briefly saw Sen. Rand Paul at the Senate gym this morning and that he shared this information with his colleagues during today’s policy meeting. This morning, Sen. Moran followed CDC guidelines and kept a safe distance between him and Sen. Paul.
— Tom Brandt (@tomwbrandt) March 22, 2020
GOP senators told CNN Paul was in the gym with colleagues on Sunday morning, and several others 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.
Paul is the third member of Congress to announce a positive test for the coronavirus, following Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and Ben McAdams, D-Utah. Several Republican lawmakers also self-quarantined this month after they learned that they had interacted with someone who tested positive for the virus at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
The US now ranks third globally in the number of confirmed cases, after China and Italy. As of Sunday night, there are 33,276 cases, and 417 patients have died. The vast majority of the infections are in New York, California, and Washington.
To date, there is no specific medicine to treat coronavirus, but those infected can recover with appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms — and those with severe illness should receive optimized supportive care, according to WHO.