Rand Paul, the Republican Senator from Kentucky, announced today that he has fully recovered from COVID-19 and is free of the coronavirus. Dr. Paul was first tested and diagnosed with the disease on March 23, at which point he went into self-isolation. The news of the Senator’s recovery comes today via his Twitter feed. He also announced that he is now volunteering at a hospital, which has been identified as TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital in Bowling Green.
Dr. Paul, an outspoken conservative and occasional maverick, practiced ophthalmology for 18 years prior to his election to the US Senate in 2010. He has been criticized by some for his behavior leading up to the COVID-19 diagnosis. More than a week prior to his test, Paul had been notified that he had attended a fundraiser with two individuals who later tested positive. While other attendees self-quarantined, Paul – who was asymptomatic – maintained his normal schedule. He was “dining with his colleagues at conference lunches, voting on the Senate floor and taking a swim in the senators-only pool just hours before he received his results.” Paul responded to the criticism by pointing out that he protected others by requesting a COVID-19 test even though he did not fit the standard requirements for such a measure.
Since the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, Senator Paul has advocated for the Health Care Workforce Protection Act of 2020. The proposed bill would extend liability protections to manufacturers, distributors, prescribers, and users of respirators in order to help guarantee the availability of the critical medical devices. He has also recently argued that the firearms industry should be deemed an essential business during lockdowns in the United States.