Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is the first member of the U.S. Senate to test positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus; less than a week before, his father Ron Paul, a former U.S. congressman, authored a column asking his readers to consider whether the global pandemic was a “big hoax” to expand government authority.
A post on Rand Paul’s Twitter account Sunday announced the senator’s positive diagnosis, claiming that he had been tested “out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events.” CNN reported that Rand Paul had attended a black-tie event in Louisville, Kentucky, where two attendees later tested positive for the disease.
Rand Paul reportedly had been spotted exercising at the Senate gym as early as Sunday morning and had sat close to other Senate members during lunch in recent days. In response, Sens. Mitt Romney and Mike Lee have announced they will self-quarantine.
Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19. 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.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2020
Rand Paul was the only Senator last week to vote against an $8 billion spending bill to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Rand Paul’s father and famed libertarian Ron Paul, who served in the U.S. Congress representing Texas, published a column on Mar. 16 asking his readers to consider whether the coronavirus pandemic was a government-made “hoax” to expand federal authority. The elder Paul attempted to compare the coronavirus with the 9/11 terror attacks, after which Congress hastily passed the Patriot Act and expanded its surveillance powers in ways that drew criticism from organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union.
But Ron Paul took it a step further, arguing that governments “love crises” and asking his readers to consider whether the threat of the coronavirus was being “massively exaggerated” or even worsened by people like Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Fauci has regularly fact-checked President Donald Trump’s claims during press conferences. Ron Paul wrote:
If anything, what people like Fauci and the other fearmongers are demanding will likely make the disease worse. The martial law they dream about will leave people hunkered down inside their homes instead of going outdoors or to the beach where the sunshine and fresh air would help boost immunity. The panic produced by these fearmongers is likely helping spread the disease, as massive crowds rush into Walmart and Costco for that last roll of toilet paper.
People should ask themselves whether this coronavirus “pandemic” could be a big hoax, with the actual danger of the disease massively exaggerated by those who seek to profit – financially or politically – from the ensuing panic.
That is not to say the disease is harmless. Without question people will die from coronavirus. Those in vulnerable categories should take precautions to limit their risk of exposure. But we have seen this movie before. Government over-hypes a threat as an excuse to grab more of our freedoms. When the “threat” is over, however, they never give us our freedoms back.
Both Rand and Ron Paul hold medical degrees.