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Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has tested positive for the coronavirus, his office announced on Twitter Sunday.

Why it matters: He's the first U.S. senator to test positive. According to his office, Paul is asymptomatic and was not aware of making direct contact with an infected person.

  • Paul, a licensed physician and notorious deficit hawk, was the only senator to vote against a bipartisan $8 billion deal to provide emergency coronavirus funding earlier this month.
  • He sought to introduce an amendment that would take the funding from the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, but it was voted down 80-16.
  • Paul may be considered a high-risk patient for coronavirus. In August 2019, the senator tweeted that he had part of his lung removed during surgery after it was damaged in a 2017 assault by his neighbor.

What they're saying:

"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 any 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. Ten days ago, our D.C. office began operating remotely, hence virtually no staff has had contact with Senator Rand Paul."
— Rand Paul's office on Twitter
  • President Trump tweeted Sunday evening that it is "not good" that his "friend (always there when I’ve needed him!)" has contracted the virus. "He is strong and will get better," Trump said. "Just spoke to him and he was in good spirits."

What to watch: The Senate is set to vote on a massive "Phase 3" coronavirus relief package on Monday. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) have proposed a resolution calling for remote voting, which could potentially be prioritized now that a senator has officially tested positive for the virus.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with Trump's comments.

Go deeper

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
13 mins ago - Health

Study finds bias against Black patients written into medical charts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Black patients were more than two-and-a-half times as likely as white patients to have negative descriptors about them in their electronic health record, according to a study published Wednesday in Health Affairs.

Why it matters: The study is further evidence of bias in the U.S. health care system, which can ultimately result in worse care and disparately poor outcomes.

Jan. 6 panel asks Ivanka Trump to cooperate with investigation

Former President Trump and daughter Ivanka Trump walk to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on January 4, 2020 in Washington, DC. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot sent a letter Thursday to Ivanka Trump requesting her cooperation with the investigation.

Driving the news: "We write to request your voluntary cooperation with our investigation on a range of critical topics," the chair wrote in a letter to the former president's daughter.

1 hour ago - World

Putin is challenging Ukraine's "right to exist," Blinken says

Blinken (L) speaks in Berlin on Thursday. Photo: Kay Nietfeld - Pool/Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken put the stakes of a Russian invasion of Ukraine in stark terms on Thursday, saying Vladimir Putin's threat is a direct challenge to Ukraine's "right to exist" as an independent country and a democracy.

What he's saying: “There’s been a lot of speculation about President Putin’s true intentions, but we don’t actually have to guess. He’s told us, repeatedly. He’s laying the groundwork for an invasion because he doesn’t believe Ukraine is a sovereign nation," Blinken said during a speech in Berlin.