Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who forced amendment votes on two coronavirus economic aid packages while arguing that the stimulus should have pay-fors, has become the first senator to test positive for COVID-19.
Sergio Gor, Paul’s deputy chief of staff, said in a statement today that the senator tested positive and “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,” Gor continued. “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 Paul,” he added.
In a floor speech last week, Paul spoke about his amendment that would have made numerous cuts, including ending the war in Afghanistan, saying he wanted to “prioritize the truly vital, such as coronavirus relief and medical research, over the extraneous, such as spending money on clown colleges, gas stations, and roads in Afghanistan.”
On Friday, he released his own coronavirus relief bill, subject to paygo rules. “The national emergency we face may be new, but the answers out of Washington have so far been the same: more spending, more debt, and more mandates on the American people. Instead, we can ease concerns by putting the responsibility on government, not our families,” he said in a statement. “My plan gets counter-productive regulations out of the way so we can recover faster, trusts Americans by enabling them to keep more of their own money, and provides incentives to give the relief of extra time to those paying off debt.”
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who had lunch with Paul on Friday, told reporters today that “all the senators are going to seek medical advice as to what action we should take, to make sure in any way that we don’t spread this virus ourselves.”
“We have to determine whether any of us should self-quarantine,” Romney said.