Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has tested positive for the coronavirus, his office announced Sunday, as concerns were raised whether other lawmakers were exposed to the virus.
“He is feeling fine and is in quarantine,” his office said. “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.”
Paul is the first senator to test positive for the coronavirus. Two House members, Mario Diaz-Balart, a Florida Republican, and Ben McAdams, a Utah Democrat, announced last week that they have tested positive, while other representatives are in self-quarantine.
Paul’s office said that he expects to be back in the Senate after his quarantine period ends. The office began operating remotely ten days ago, “hence virtually no staff has had contact with Senate Rand Paul.”
But the senator has been on Capitol Hill in recent days, as lawmakers hash out a massive coronavirus relief package. It’s unclear whether other senators he was in contact with will get tested or if they will self quarantine.
Senate Majority Leader was to have scheduled a procedural vote on the relief package — which could reach as high at $1.7 trillion — but delayed the vote until Sunday evening after Democrats raised objections over some of its provisions. Among their concerns is that the bill puts too much authority in the hands of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who would be tasked with deciding on which businesses are eligible to receive bailout loans.
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