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Questions surround Sen. Rand Paul's response to positive COVID-19 diagnosis

Constituents and social media ask: What was Senator Rand Paul Thinking?

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Social media has buzzed about the diagnosis since Senator Rand Paul's team tweeted a confirmation explaining that he was asymptomatic but tested under an abundance of caution.


Reports claimed he worked out at the gym and was around the Capitol after being tested. Some people accused him of potentially spreading COVID-19.
Senator Paul’s team tweeted that he did not go to the gym after the test results. Instead, he immediately isolated himself.


Speaker Nancy Pelosi's daughter, Christine, tweeted then deleted, "Rand Paul's neighbor was right" in a reference to the beating two years ago that cost Kentucky's Junior Senator part of his lung.


The attack by his neighbor makes the situation, for some, even more puzzling.


“I had six ribs broken and I'm still going through major surgery two years later”, Sen. Paul told us in September as he awaited a new sentencing for the man who attacked him.

Those injuries put the Kentucky Republican at even higher risk. So why not self-isolate after getting tested while he awaited the results?

A statement explained that he had no reason to believe it would be positive.

We reached out to his office today hoping for insight into what happened and why. They are not talking.

His office released a statement last night: 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23, 2020 Contact: Press@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343 WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) released the following statement: "Given that my wife and I had traveled extensively during the weeks prior to COVID-19 social distancing practices, and that I am at a higher risk for serious complications from the virus due to having part of my lung removed seven months ago, I took a COVID-19 test when I arrived in D.C.


Kesley Cooper, Senator Paul's communications lead in Kentucky, tweeted a defense stating that she too was at the Louisville fundraiser where other guests have now been confirmed coronavirus patients. Ms. Cooper wrote that medical personnel never told them to isolate and they had no direct contact with the known cases.


She recently celebrated a birthday and tweeted that it was a 1-on-1 dinner. She's taking no risks.

Senator Paul made headlines just more than two weeks ago in his effort to block coronavirus funding unless lawmakers were more fiscally responsible. That too has made him a target on social media.


But since the diagnosis has been praised by the president who tweeted get well wishes.


While his office may not be commenting today, the last line in his most recent statement points to some of that vitriol on social media and the uncertain fight ahead.

“The broader the testing and the less finger-pointing we have, the better. America is strong. We are a resilient people, but we’re stronger when we stand together.”

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►Contact reporter Chris Williams at cwilliams@whas11.com. Follow him on Twitter (@chriswnews) and Facebook.