On Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky became the first senator to test positive for the coronavirus.
“Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19,” Paul’s Twitter account shared. “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 an infected person.”
The thread continued with “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. Ten days ago, our D.C. office began operating remotely, hence virtually no staff has had contact with Senator Rand Paul.”
Paul is the fist- known senator to test positive, but the third member of Congress. Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and Ben McAdams, D-Utah tested positive last week. Because of the infections, several Republican lawmakers have self-quarantined earlier this month after learning that they interacted with infected individuals.
Donald Trump also had interacted with an individual infected with the virus, but he was reportedly tested for the coronavirus and was negative.
On Saturday, Diaz-Balart told NBC News that he is feeling better. He stated that his initial symptoms hit him like “a ton of bricks.” McAdams said that in the beginning, his symptoms felt like “I had a belt around my chest, and so I couldn’t breathe deeply.”
Paul was the only member of Congress to vote against the coronavirus aid bill. His diagnosis has sparked conversations about whether senators, especially those in older age brackets should go home immediately or begin self-quarantining because they had most likely had contact with Paul.
Back in 2017, Paul suffered lung damage and broken ribs in an altercation with a neighbor. Paul ended up needing surgery and had parts of his lungs removed. Reportedly, Rand and his neighbor had a long-standing feud over lawn care. Rene Boucher, a 60-year-old retired doctor, pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting a member of Congress back in 2018.
Boucher claimed that the whole thing began with an “unsightly” pile of yard debris that he kept hauling away and even tried to incinerate — and that the lawmaker allegedly kept rebuilding.
Boucher reportedly snapped after Paul continued to stack a pile of brush and lawn debris right on the property line between the two neighbors. The feud began in the summer of 2017 when Boucher clipped some maple tree branches that were extending onto his property.
“Then in September 2017, Paul stacked a 10-foot-wide, 5-foot-high pile of limbs and shrubbery clippings just off Boucher’s property line. Even though this debris was not on Dr. Boucher’s property, he viewed it as unsightly — as it was placed directly in his line of sight from his patio and the back door of his house,” court filing read.