Rand Paul Says He Has Recovered From Coronavirus

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said Tuesday that he has recovered from the coronavirus. The Republican lawmaker announced his recovery in a tweet just two weeks after revealing that he had tested positive for the virus, which has infected more than 1.4 million people worldwide. Paul said that he is now volunteering at a local hospital to help other COVID-19 patients.

According to TIME, Paul, who was a physician before coming to the Senate, is volunteering at TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The Senate is currently on break, allowing Paul he time to volunteer. Mike Sherrod, the hospital's CEO, said that the senator's presence is "lifting the spirits of patients and our colleagues." He added that "we appreciate Senator Paul and his support in recognizing our healthcare workers and providers at TriStar Greenview for their unwavering response to the COVID-19 pandemic."

Paul had announced on March 22 that he had tested positive for the virus, at the time explaining that he was asymptomatic. His diagnosis made him the first known U.S. senator to have been infected with the virus.

"Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19," a statement shared to his Twitter account at the time 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 an 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 announcement was followed shortly after with criticism from both Republicans and Democrats after it was reveal that he hadn't self-quarantined while he was awaiting the results of his test. Speaking to CNN, GOP senators said that the senator had been to the gym with colleagues the same morning he announced his positive test results. Defending his actions, Paul explained that "the current guidelines would not have called for me to get tested nor quarantined. It was my extra precaution, out of concern for my damaged lung, that led me to get tested."

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Last month, four other U.S. representatives also tested positive for the virus – Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, Rep. Ben McAdams of Utah, Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, and Rep. Joe Cunningham of South Carolina.