Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said Sunday that he had tested positive for the disease caused by the new coronavirus, becoming the first member of the Senate to report a case of COVID-19. He said in a tweet that he was feeling fine and was in quarantine.
Paul, a doctor, said he has not had symptoms and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. He said he was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person.
Paul, a deficit hawk, was among eight Senate Republicans who voted against a House-passed bill last week that provided more than $100 billion to boost testing for the coronavirus and guarantee paid sick leave for millions of workers.
He also was only Republican senator who opposed an earlier bill authorizing $8.3 billion for initial response to the coronavirus.
The senator was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday afternoon, which was the last time the Senate held floor votes, including on one of his amendments. While Senate Republicans have lunched together as a group most days since, it is unclear if Paul was among them.
South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the second-ranking Republican senator, said on the Senate floor Sunday that lawmakers will consult with the attending physician at the Capitol about those senators who have been in contact with Paul.
Two House members, Reps. Mario Diaz Balart, R-Fla., and Ben McAdams, D-Utah,, have tested positive.
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