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In Senate Showdown, Dr. Fauci Rebuts Rand Paul On Reopening

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Dr. Anthony Fauci turned the tables on Senator Rand Paul Tuesday, after the Kentucky Republican suggested the immunologist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) should be more humble and even point-blank told him he was not the "end all" when it comes to knowing about the coronavirus.

Senator Paul, who recovered after contracting COVID-19, was pushing for schools to re-open, suggesting the coronavirus doesn't kill many children.

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McSally Joins Sinema In Condemning Rand Paul For Spreading Coronavirus

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Centrist Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and far-right Republican Martha McSally were bitter rivals in Arizona’s U.S. Senate race of 2018, but the Arizona senators found some common ground when they joined one another in attacking Sen. Rand Paul over reports that the Kentucky Republican had used the Senate gym while awaiting a coronavirus test.

On Sunday, March 22, Paul announced that he had tested positive for coronavirus — and he has been self-quarantining. But Paul did not self-quarantine until after receiving the diagnosis, and Sinema and McSally believe he should have been self-quarantining even before that.

Sinema, after learning that Paul had coronavirus, tweeted, “I’ve never commented about a fellow Senator’s choices/actions. Never once. This, America, is absolutely irresponsible. You cannot be near other people while waiting for coronavirus test results. It endangers others & likely increases the spread of the virus.”

McSally, an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump who recently sparked a controversy after insulting CNN reporter Manu Raju as a “liberal hack,” saw Sinema’s tweet and was in total agreement with her. On Twitter, the Republican told Democrat Sinema, “I couldn’t agree more @kyrstensinema. As we ask all Americans to sacrifice their livelihoods and alter their behavior to save lives, we must ourselves model appropriate #coronavirus behavior. No one is too important to disregard guidance to self-quarantine pending test results.”

Paul’s actions are in stark contrast to those of another far-right Republican senator who has self-quarantined: Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Although Cruz has not tested positive for coronavirus, he voluntarily self-quarantined as a precaution after learning that a man he interacted with at the recent 2020 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland had tested positive.

In 2018, McSally against Sinema, shocking the political world when she lost to a Democrat in Arizona. In January 2019, Sinema took over the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Republican Jeff Flake. But McSally was appointed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey to Arizona’s other U.S. Senate seat: the one once held by the late John McCain. McSally is seeking reelection this year, but polls have shown her trailing Democrat Mark Kelly (a former astronaut) in head-to-head matchups. And if Kelly wins in November, Arizona would end up with two Democratic U.S. senators — which would be a big change from the deep red Arizona that, for decades, was synonymous with Republican Sen. Barry Goldwater.

As of early Tuesday morning, March 24, the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland was reporting that the worldwide death toll from COVID-19 had reached 17,156.

Paul, who is the son of former Texas Rep. Ron Paul and shares many of his libertarian beliefs, is the first U.S. Senator to test positive for COVID-19.

Rand Paul Exposed Many In Capitol To Coronavirus After Test

On Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) announced that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Paul “is feeling fine and is in quarantine,” according to his Senate Twitter account. “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.”

The announcement came four days after Paul was one of eight Republicans who voted against the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a bill to provide temporary paid sick leave for some workers.

The bill also contained provisions to enable free coronavirus testing and expanded Medicaid, food assistance, and unemployment benefits.

On March 5, Paul was the only senator to vote against the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, the first congressional response to the coronavirus outbreak. That bill contained $8.3 billion for a variety of responses, including funding dedicated to research and development of vaccines and $2 billion for federal, state, and local governments to prepare for and respond to the growing outbreak.

On Wednesday, Paul made headlines when he attacked immigrants as “non-people” when discussing an amendment to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

“My amendment says that if you want to apply for money from the government through the child tax credit program — this is money that the government gives to people — that you have to be a legitimate person, you have to have a Social Security number,” Paul said on the Senate floor.

“We’ve been talking about this reform for a decade now and we never seem to be able to get it passed. It has nothing to do with not liking immigrants, it has to do with saying taxpayer money shouldn’t go to non-people,” Paul added.

While Paul was waiting for his test results to come back, he worked out at the Senate gym and attended a meeting with other senators. After Paul’s positive test, both Republican senators from Utah — Mitt Romney and Mike Lee — placed themselves in quarantine due to their recent proximity to Paul.

Paul’s decision to be near others while waiting for his results did not sit well with Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-AZ).

Paul’s behavior “is absolutely irresponsible,” Sinema tweeted on Sunday. “You cannot be near other people while waiting for coronavirus test results. It endangers others & likely increases the spread of the virus.”

Paul is the first senator, and the third member of Congress, with a confirmed case of the coronavirus. The other two are Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Ben McAdams (D-UT). McAdams was hospitalized on Sunday night with severe shortness of breath.

As of Monday morning, at least 33,018 people in the United States have tested positive for the virus, according to the New York Times, and at least 428 people have died.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Sen. Rand Paul Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

U.S. Sen Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has tested positive for coronavirus, he announced Sunday.

Paul, 57, said on Twitter that he’s asymptomatic and “feeling fine.”

He is the first U.S. Senator and third member of Congress to test positive for coronavirus, according to Politico.

Paul, who has been in office since 2011, was tested to be cautious because he travels extensively and appears at a large amount of public events, his office said. He expects to get back to work after his quarantine ends.

The senator’s Washington D.C. office closed 10 days ago with staff working remotely. “Virtually” none of his staff has had contact with Paul, his office said.

More than 30,000 people in the United States have been infected by COVID-19. There have been 398 deaths in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University.

In Paul’s home state, there are 89 coronavirus cases. Three people have died.

Jeff Goldman may be reached at jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find NJ.com on Facebook.