Rand Paul is 1st senator to report positive test for virus

Rand Paul is the first member of the Senate to report testing positive.


Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says he has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The Republican is the first member of the Senate to report testing positive. He said in a tweet Sunday that he is feeling fine and is in quarantine.

His announcement led Utah's two GOP senators — Mike Lee and Mitt Romney — to place themselves into quarantine, stepping away from negotiations as the Senate worked on a $1.4 trillion economic rescue package for the coronavirus crisis. At least five senators, including Paul, were in self-quarantine Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

The Senate passed an $8.3 billion measure earlier this month to help tackle the outbreak in hopes of reassuring a fearful public and accelerating the government's response to the virus.

Paul, a doctor, cast the sole “no” vote in the bill that passed 96-1. The House passed the bill earlier by a 415-2 vote.

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.

Paul said he has not had symptoms and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. Paul said he was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person.

Two House members, Reps. Mario Diaz Balart of Florida of Ben McAdams of Utah, have tested positive.

The Senate was in session Sunday working on a bipartisan response to the pandemic.

Other senators, including Ted Cruz of Texas and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, had gone into self-quarantine while they awaited the results of a coronavirus test. Both were negative.

Hearst TV contributed to this report.