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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

DOJ watchdog to probe whether officials sought to alter election results

Former President Donald Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged that Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.

1 hour ago - Podcasts

Google's chief health officer Karen DeSalvo on vaccinating America

Google on Monday became the latest Big Tech company to get involved with COVID-19 vaccinations. Not just by doing things like incorporating vaccination sites into its maps, but by helping to turn some of its offices and parking lots into vaccination sites.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into what Google is doing, and why now, with Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Google's chief health officer who previously worked at HHS and as health commissioner for New Orleans.

Biden signs order overturning Trump's transgender military ban

Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

President Biden signed an executive order on Monday overturning the Trump administration's ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.

Why it matters: The ban, which allowed the military to bar openly transgender recruits and discharge people for not living as their sex assigned at birth, affected up to 15,000 service members, according to tallies from the National Center for Transgender Equality and Transgender American Veterans Association.