Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

Rand Paul is the first senator to test positive for coronavirus

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Sunday became the first known lawmaker in the upper chamber to test positive for the novel COVID-19 coronavirus.

Paul's office announced on Twitter he is asymptomatic and was tested for precautionary reasons because of his extensive travel, adding that he did not have any direct contact with a known infected person. Paul will now work from his Kentucky home under quarantine, but he expects to be back in the Senate when that period ends. Staffers at his office in Washington, D.C., began working remotely 10 days ago, and have subsequently had very little contact with the senator, though Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said Paul's colleagues in the Senate are seeking medical advice about whether they should self-quarantine.

Paul, a deficit hawk, delayed the Senate's first coronavirus aid bill last week in an effort to include an amendment that would slash other parts of the congressional budget so the government could pay for the relief package. The amendment failed, and Paul ultimately voted against the bill.

Two other members of Congress, Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and Ben McAdams (D-Utah), have also tested positive for coronavirus.