Sen. Rand Paul is the first senator to test positive for the coronavirus

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Many people who have contracted the coronavirus are just regular people, trying to live their lives and be responsible citizens. But doesn’t it also feel like the coronavirus is going out of its way to infect people who deny its existence? It feels like every person who downplays corona or is on the record calling corona a “Democrat hoax” is now quarantined and/or infected. So it is with Senator Rand Paul, who just weeks ago downplayed the seriousness of the coronavirus crisis. Paul was the sole vote against a “bipartisan $8 billion deal to provide emergency coronavirus funding earlier this month.” He’s the first senator to test positive, and he was a busy little beaver before he bothered to get tested, hanging out with all of his Republican buddies, working out at the Senate gym and swimming in the Senate pool. I can’t. How f–king irresponsible. And he’s a f–king doctor!!!

Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday announced he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, becoming the first senator and third member of Congress known to have contracted the virus. And Senate GOP leaders will now be short five Republicans during a key procedural vote on a massive economic rescue package to deal with the coronavirus crisis, in part due to Paul’s infection.

Paul — who has been working from the Capitol in recent days — said he was tested out of caution “due to his extensive travel and events” and is not showing symptoms of the highly infectious virus. Later, his staff said that Paul had attended an event where two people tested positive, though the senator did not recall specific interactions with either of them.

Paul’s infection quickly reverberated throughout the Senate, where lawmakers were surprised by his diagnosis as they pushed ahead with a massive package to rescue the economy from the outbreak. The Kentucky senator had been interacting with his colleagues just days prior, voting on the floor, sitting in meetings and speaking to reporters in hallways.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) are now self-quarantining after close interactions with Paul. Lee’s office said Sunday that the Capitol’s attending physician directed him to stay isolated for 14 days, a recommendation Romney also received. That means Lee and Romney, along with Paul, cannot vote on any legislation on the floor this week as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attempts to keep his conference together on the economic rescue bill. Meanwhile, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Col.) is also self-quarantining in Washington after potential exposure earlier this month, as is Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.).

[From Politico]

Politically, it’s more than likely that the Senate will change the rules to allow for remote voting, especially since Moscow Mitch McConnell wants to push through a relief package which will be a huge giveaway to corporations and GOP donors. Meanwhile, the story on Rand Paul just gets worse and worse – there’s a lot of evidence building up that Paul knew he had been exposed more than a week ago and he just carried on like nothing happened. Not to mention, Rand Paul doesn’t believe working people need paid sick leave. He’s currently on paid sick leave.

This, America, is absolutely irresponsible. You cannot be near other people while waiting for coronavirus test results. It endangers others & likely increases the spread of the virus. https://t.co/651TJf8mWf

— Kyrsten Sinema (@kyrstensinema) March 22, 2020

Sen. Rand Paul – who is a doctor – shut down his office, but continued to interact with the public and go to the gym even though he knew he’d been exposed and had been tested.

Outrageous. https://t.co/JH1yIC3C3o

— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 23, 2020

— Susan Milligan (@MilliganSusan) March 22, 2020

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Photos courtesy of Getty.

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