Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky announced Tuesday that he has successfully recovered from his bout with the novel coronavirus and is now volunteering at a hospital to help patients stricken with Covid-19.
“I appreciate all the best wishes I have received. I have been retested and I am negative. I have started volunteering at a local hospital to assist those in my community who are in need of medical help, including Coronavirus patients. Together we will overcome this!” Paul, who is also a doctor, wrote in a tweet.
The tweet included a photo of the senator, half-smiling and wearing a white lab coat.
The announcement comes a little over two weeks after Paul announced he had been diagnosed with coronavirus, making him the first known US senator to have been infected with it.
Paul, who, at the time, said he was asymptomatic, had faced criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike following his diagnosis because he had hadn’t self-quarantined while he awaited his results. GOP senators told CNN last month that Paul was in the gym with colleagues the morning of the day he announced his positive results, and several pointed out how close he had sat to others during Senate lunches at the time.
The senator later defended his actions, saying in a statement following his diagnosis that “the current guidelines would not have called for me to get tested nor quarantined. It was my extra precaution, out of concern for my damaged lung, that led me to get tested.”
In addition to Paul, four US representatives also tested positive for coronavirus last month, while one more said they had “been diagnosed with presumed coronavirus infection.”
The virus has so far infected more than 378,000 Americans and claimed the lives of more than 11,000 Americans, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.