Senator Tim Kaine — the Virginia Democrat who joined Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the 2016 general election as their party’s nominee for vice president — has tested positive for antibodies for the novel coronavirus. The 62-year-old announced both he and his wife had positive tests in a statement published on his official Senate web site, Tim Kaine, on Thursday.
In the press release, Kaine revealed he had tested positive for the flu earlier this year. As his flu symptoms lingered into late March, he began to develop additional symptoms. Later, his wife — George Mason University interim President Anne Holton — also developed symptoms. However, the two weren’t tested for COVID-19, due to testing kit shortages at the time.
Nevertheless, the pair quarantined and worked remotely from their Richmond, Virginia home and their symptoms eventually subsided. More recently, Kaine and his wife received their positive test results for COVID-19 antibodies.
“We each tested positive for coronavirus antibodies this month. While those antibodies could make us less likely to be re-infected or infect others, there is still too much uncertainty over what protection antibodies may actually provide. So we will keep following CDC guidelines—hand-washing, mask wearing, social distancing. We encourage others to do so as well. It shows those around you that you care about them.”
Kaine is just the second member of the U.S. Senate to test positive for coronavirus infection. In March, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul became the first member of the legislative body to receive a positive test result. More recently, Paul — who hasn’t been wearing a face mask — told CNN that he’s nearly certain he’s now immune to the virus.
Although those previously infected with COVID-19 have been shown to have a level of immunoresponse to the virus, researchers have yet to make a definitive determination on the topics of immunity and reinfection. As reported by CNBC, Dr. Mike Ryan — Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s emergencies program — said on Wednesday that “the jury is still very much out on that.”
Meanwhile, Kaine will be returning to work sooner rather than later. The Senate is set to return to Washington, D.C. next week following a week-long recess for the Memorial Day holiday. Meanwhile, the U.S. capital and Northern Virginia are slated to being a phased reopening on Friday, June 1.
In addition to his time with the Clinton campaign, Kaine previously served as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee for two years following a four-year term as governor of Virginia. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012, then reelected in 2018.
As reported by The Inquisitr, Kaine notably pressed Vice President Mike Pence on the issue of coronavirus testing, as well as President Donald Trump’s support of citizens protesting their states to reopen during a call in April.