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Sen. Rand Paul tests positive for coronavirus – first US Senator

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks at the CATO Institute in Washington, D.C., on July 27, 2017. (Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA/TNS)
March 22, 2020

Senator Rand Paul announced Sunday he had tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The Kentucky Republican announced his decision to undergo testing for coronavirus as a precautionary measure following extensive travel and events. Despite the positive test results, Paul indicated he is asymptomatic.

Paul’s Twitter account indicated he would remain home until his quarantine period ends after which he will return to work in the Senate. Paul’s D.C. office has been working remotely for the past ten days and Paul’s tweets indicated “virtually no staff has had contact” with him recently.

Paul is the first U.S. senator and third U.S. lawmaker over all to test positive for coronavirus. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Florida Republican, and Rep. Ben McAdams, a Utah Democrat, announced on Wednesday they had tested positive for coronavirus.

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Last week, President Donald Trump  underwent testing for coronavirus after interacting with one of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s aides that later tested positive. Trump’s test results came back negative.

The Trump administration has urged Americans to take precautions to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Those measures have included avoiding crowds of more than ten people, working from home and avoiding travel where possible. In a video, Vice President Mike Pence also encouraged regularly washing one’s hands and disinfecting surfaces and self isolating if sick.

The U.S. has confirmed 31,057 cases of COVID-19 so far, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus case tracking map. Of those cases, 390 have been fatal while 176 have recovered.

Globally, the number of coronavirus cases has passed 320,000 with more than 14,000 fatal cases.