As lawmakers failed to work through an over trillion-dollar relief bill in response to the coronavirus outbreak, U.S. Senator Rand Paul said he has tested positive for Covid-19 and President Donald Trump announced action late Sunday to help states hard hit by the virus.
Speaking at a conference around 6 p.m. ET, Trump said Paul's diagnosis "is getting quite close to home," and he stressed the importance of "social distancing" and hand washing and abiding by federal and local recommendations on how to prevent the spread of the virus.
Trump also announced actions to have the National Guard help New York, California, Washington and other states to deal with Covid-19, as well as other efforts, listing off numbers of supplies and other support on the way.
"We're sort of a back up for the states," he said. "These are three states that really do need help because they have really been hit hard."
"There's never been anything like this, and it's vicious," said Trump, proclaiming that after it was over the economy would rebound.
Earlier in the day, it was revealed that Paul was carrying the virus.
"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," read a post on Paul's Twitter page.
It was further stated that the Republican from Kentucky expects to return to work after his quarantine period ends.
"Ten days ago, our D.C. office began operating remotely, hence virtually no staff has had contact with Senator Rand Paul," read the post.
A trained physician, Paul had just earlier criticized some government efforts to respond to the newly discovered coronavirus that causes the disease Covid-19, saying, "We absolutely must, must, resist government run amok taking advantage of a crisis. This is how your liberty dies. Stand up America and resist."
Also over the weekend, an evening vote on a major relief bill reportedly failed to pass, forcing lawmakers to go back to start fresh.
The bill under debate would offer some financial help American workers, businesses and industries hard hit by the pandemic.
The U.S. now has the second largest number of known infections of the virus outside of China, topping 33,000 known cases by Sunday afternoon and already seeing several hundreds of deaths. The toll is likely higher as many people with symptoms are still unable to obtain tests because of a shortage of equipment.
This story has been updated.