Senator Rand Paul, Who Delayed Then Voted Against Pandemic Aid, Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Eric Todisco

Sen. Rand Paul has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The 57-year-old Republican is now the first senator to have contracted the coronavirus. His team shared the news on Twitter Sunday.

“Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19,” the tweet read. “He is feeling fine and is in quarantine. 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.”

“He expects to be back in the Senate after his quarantine period ends and will continue to work for the people of Kentucky at this difficult time” his team added. “Ten days ago, our D.C. office began operating remotely, hence virtually no staff has had contact with Senator Rand Paul.”

RELATED: Aide to Vice President Mike Pence Is First Known White House Staffer to Test Positive for Coronavirus

Seung Min Kim, a White House reporter from The Washington Post, claimed on Twitter Sunday, “During the Senate GOP lunch today, Moran told colleagues that Rand was at the gym this morning, per two sources briefed on the lunch, and that he was swimming in the pool. Rand got his COVID-19 results back this morning.”

CNN correspondent Phil Mattingly also tweeted about senators telling CNN that Paul was in the gym Sunday morning.

However, the senator’s staff called the report “completely false and irresponsible” in a follow-up tweet: “We want to be clear, Senator Paul left the Senate IMMEDIATELY upon learning of his diagnosis. He had zero contact with anyone & went into quarantine. Insinuations such as those below that he went to the gym after learning of his results are just completely false & irresponsible!”

Earlier this month, Paul delayed and then voted against the $8 billion bipartisan emergency coronavirus pandemic aid bill, which eventually passed in the Senate.

Paul suffered lung damage in 2017 after his ribs were broken during an altercation with a neighbor. Last year, he had part of his lungs removed in surgery.

RELATED: Vice President Mike Pence and His Wife Karen Pence Test Negative for Coronavirus

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images Rand Paul

Two members of Congress, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart from Florida and Rep. Ben McAdams from Utah, have already come forward with confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Vice President Mike Pence, his wife Karen, and Ivanka Trump have all tested negative for coronavirus.

As of March 22, there have been at least 29,666 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States and 377, according to the New York Times.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLEis committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.