Senator Rand Paul was tested for the novel coronavirus a full week ago and continued working at the U.S. capitol for six days because he believed it was unlikely he had contracted the virus as he was not feeling any symptoms. On Sunday, he tested positive.
As The Associated Press reported on Monday, the Kentucky senator continued going to meetings, working on details of an economic relief package, and even had lunch with fellow senators in the days before he got a positive test back. He said he did not believe he had come into contact with anyone who tested positive for the virus and was asymptomatic, making Sunday’s results a surprise.
Many had criticized Paul for continuing to go to the capitol and potentially exposing others to the virus after being tested, saying he should have exercised more caution.
In a statement released on Monday, Paul said that because of his schedule of travel and attending large gatherings, he believed he had the same level of risk as his congressional colleagues. He also noted that under current federal guidelines, he would not have been tested or gone into quarantine.
“For those who want to criticize me for lack of quarantine, realize that if the rules on testing had been followed to a tee, I would never have been tested and would still be walking around the halls of the Capitol,” Paul said. “It was my extra precaution, out of concern for my damaged lung, that led me to get tested.”
Paul’s positive results have now had ramifications across the U.S. Senate, with Utah Senator Mitt Romney announcing that he was going into self-quarantine after going out to lunch with Paul and a group of others on Friday. Romney suggested that others who may have come into close contact with the Kentucky senator to follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on whether they, too, should self-quarantine.
Utah Senator Mike Lee joined Romney in deciding to self-quarantine, making it a total of five members of the senate to do so.
As The Inquisitr noted, around the same time Rand Paul was being tested for the coronavirus, his father, former Texas congressman Ron Paul, published an essay calling the coronavirus a “hoax.”
Others have stirred controversy for going out in public and interacting with people while awaiting the results of a coronavirus test. As the New York Post reported, the airline JetBlue gave a lifetime ban to a traveler who boarded a plane while awaiting her diagnosis. She learned via text message during the flight that she had tested positive.