Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul’s father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, penned an article titled “The Coronavirus Hoax,” just six days before his son became the first U.S. senator to test positive for COVID-19.
“Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19,” Paul’s office announced on Twitter Sunday. “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.”
Paul’s office said that the senator “expected to be back in the Senate after his quarantine period ends and will continue to work for the people of Kentucky at this difficult time.” They also noted that no staff has been in contact with Paul as his D.C. office went remote 10 days ago.
Prior to Paul’s diagnosis, a recent article titled “The Coronavirus Hoax,” by his father Ron Paul was published on March 16. In the piece, Ron Paul said that “governments love crises because when the people are fearful they are more willing to give up freedoms for promises that the government will take care of them.”
He also called Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, the “chief fearmonger” who “did his best to further damage an already tanking economy,” when Fauci appeared on the TV program Face the Nation.
“Over what? A virus that has thus far killed just over 5,000 worldwide and less than 100 in the United States?” Ron Paul wrote.
“By contrast, tuberculosis, an old disease not much discussed these days, killed nearly 1.6 million people in 2017. Where’s the panic over this?” he also said, before adding that individuals should “ask themselves whether this coronavirus ‘pandemic’ could be a big hoax.”
Although he went on to say that the disease isn’t “harmless,” Ron Paul also noted that governments have overhyped a “threat as an excuse to grab more of our freedoms” in the past.
Newsweek reached out to the Ron Paul Institute for comment.
Last August, Rand Paul tweeted that he underwent surgery to remove part of his lung after it was damaged in an assault that took place two years prior. The surgery may elevate Paul, 57, to the status of a high-risk coronavirus individual.
Earlier this month, Paul, a licensed physician, voted against a bipartisan $8 billion emergency coronavirus funding bill. He was the sole senator to vote against.
As of Sunday, there were over 311,000 confirmed coronavirus cases globally, with over 13,000 deaths and at least 93,000 recoveries.
The U.S. became the country with the fourth-most number of cases this weekend following China, Spain and Italy after domestic confirmed cases exceeded 26,000, with at least 340 deaths and 176 recoveries.