Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has had a tough couple of years.
In 2018, Paul was badly injured when a crazed neighbor tackled him on his own lawn. Paul suffered five rib fractures, including three displaced fractures, and later required medical attention for pneumonia. He also had part of a lung removed last year in a procedure he says was necessary because of his injuries.
And then last month, Paul got the coronavirus. There were concerns that with the injuries to his lungs and having suffered pneumonia, he might not fare well with the virus, which attacks the lungs.
But on Tuesday, Paul announced that he has recovered from the novel coronavirus.
“I appreciate all the best wishes I have received. I have been retested and I am negative,” Paul wrote on Twitter. “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 posted a photo of himself in a white lab coat, is an eye surgeon who received his M.D. from the Duke University School of Medicine. When he interned, he worked in emergency rooms.
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! pic.twitter.com/9SeypT7rL6
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) April 7, 2020
Paul is volunteering at at the TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital in Bowling Green, Kentucky, his home town.
The senator is “lifting the spirits of patients and our colleagues,” Hospital CEO Mike Sherrod told The Associated Press in a statement Tuesday. “We appreciate Senator Paul and his support in recognizing our healthcare workers and providers at TriStar Greenview for their unwavering response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Paul went into quarantine in March after he tested positive for the coronavirus. His diagnosis sent shockwaves through the Senate because Paul had continued to show up in the Senate, using the private senators’ gym and swimming laps in the pool, before he received the results of his coronavirus test, which took days to arrive.
“Paul said last month that he took the initial test because of his extensive travel prior to the start of social-distancing practices and because he’s at a higher risk for serious complications from the virus,” the AP said.
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a former health policy adviser to President Barack Obama, said recently that Paul “did just about everything wrong” by not self-quarantining in the days before his test results came back.
In defending his actions, Paul said at the time: “For those who want to criticize me for lack of quarantine, realize that if the rules on testing had been followed to a tee, I would never have been tested and would still be walking around the halls of the Capitol. 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.”
Paul also said after his positive test result, “I didn’t fit the criteria for testing or quarantine. I had no symptoms and no specific encounter with a COVID-19 positive person. I had, however, traveled extensively in the U.S. and was required to continue doing so to vote in the Senate. That, together with the fact that I have a compromised lung, led me to seek testing.”