Members of Congress travel a lot. They meet a lot of people, shake a lot of hands and kiss a lot of babies. It was only a matter of time before those in the House and Senate began testing positive for the coronavirus. So far, three members, two in the House and one in the Senate, have announced positive tests. With 530 sitting members and the virus rapidly spreading, it’s a safe bet that the number of lawmakers with COVID-19 will grow.
Here’s a running list of members of Congress who have tested positive for the coronavirus, starting with the most recent.
Senator Rand Paul, Kentucky
The Kentucky senator announced his positive test Sunday morning, just hours after he was seen working out at the Senate gym. In a statement, Paul’s office said he was tested, despite experiencing no symptoms, “out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events.” Last month, Paul was the only senator to vote against a $8.3 billion aid package related to the outbreak.
Following the announcement of Paul’s test, Senators Mitt Romney and Mike Lee, both of Utah, announced plans to self-quarantine. Other senators criticized Paul for remaining at the Capitol between taking his test and receiving the results.
The senator defended himself in a statement Monday. He should not have been expected to self-quarantine after the test, the statement said, because he had “no symptoms and no specific encounter with a COVID-19 positive person.” He only took a test, he said, because of his “extra precaution” related to a damaged lung.
Representative Ben McAdams, Utah
On March 18, the Utah Democrat announced that, after experiencing “a fever, a dry cough and labored breathing,” he tested positive for COVID-19. He remained at home until Friday night when worsening symptoms led him to go to the hospital. In a statement released Sunday, McAdams said, “I was admitted and have been receiving oxygen as I struggled to maintain my blood oxygen at appropriate levels. I am now off oxygen and feeling relatively better and expect to be released as soon as the doctor determines it is appropriate.”
Representative Mario Díaz-Balart, Florida
The Florida Republican was the first member of Congress to announce a positive test for COVID-19. In a statement, his office said he developed symptoms on March 13 and learned of a positive test on March 18. On Saturday, the Congressman did an interview with his brother, NBC anchor Jose Díaz-Balart, and said that the symptoms of virus hit him “like a ton of bricks.”
Prior to any members testing positive, several senators and members of the House self-isolated after coming into contact with someone infected with the virus. Among them were Florida senator Rick Scott, Texas senator Ted Cruz, South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, and Colorado senator Cory Gardner.