It’s time to Break It Down!
So, a certain Senator from Kentucky chose to be tested for COVID-19 last week, reportedly March 16th. After testing, Senator Rand Paul opted not to self-quarantine. He chose not to because, as he said:
“I did not quarantine while awaiting a coronavirus test because I did not meet the criteria for quarantine. In fact, I did not meet the current criteria for even being tested, much less quarantined.
I have not had an encounter with anyone that health officials recommended quarantining or testing.
I took the test because my wife and I had traveled extensively during the weeks prior to COVID-19 social distancing practices, and I am at a higher risk for serious complications from the virus due to having part of my lung removed seven months ago.
I did attend Louisville’s Speed Art Museum charity ball on March 7. Unlike the other Kentucky government officials there, I had zero contact or proximity with either of the two individuals who later announced they were positive for COVID-19. The event was a large affair of hundreds of people spread throughout the museum.”
As a consequence, between the time he was tested, and getting his test result, the Senator continued to cast votes on the Senate floor. He made a speech, met and lunched with other GOP senators, worked out in Senate gym and was spotted in the Senate swimming pool. After learning Paul was infected, two senators self-quarantined, a Virginia golf club cleaned and disinfected its facilities, and fellow members of Congress were furious that Paul didn’t act more responsibly.
Given all the caveats the Senator provided to qualify his actions as standard acceptable behavior, it’s a wonder he even chose to be tested. Moreover, given that he did, and as difficult as tests allegedly were to come by for normal, non-celebrity individuals and officials; with all those reasons not to be concerned, it might even beg the question why he was able to get a test in the first place. But, as a couple of my favorite video comedians are fond of saying, “that’s irrelevant.” I digress.
The point is, this situation highlights the fact that, as I told an ardent Trump supporter, and in this case at least, an avid Rand Paul advocate, either the Senator is disbelieving of the scientific evidence regarding the potential impact of catching and sharing the virus, or he didn’t care. Perhaps both. I don’t know whether either or both apply, but if it’s neither, he opted for an exceptionally peculiar way to demonstrate it during these times, which I think most would agree, are by no means normal.
Earlier in the month, Senator Paul distinguished himself by being the only senator to vote against a bipartisan $8.3 billion bill intended to help fight the outbreak, which included money for states and local communities to fight the virus as well as funds for public agencies to invest in vaccines, tests and treatments. Last week, he was one of eight senators to vote against the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The legislation expanded paid sick leave, provided for free testing, and enabled recipients to receive additional food and unemployment assistance.
The Senator had been a critic of his fellow Senators for leaning on “spending” to combat the spread of the Coronavirus, as he advocated for alternative plans. Of course, Senator Paul is no stranger to going it alone. He is the scion of Ron Paul, long time Republican, 10-year Libertarian, a former Texas Congressman, who was also known to be dogmatic and unyielding, and who has flatly suggested, and I quote:
“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.”
Rand Paul is the first Senator to test positive for the virus. There are those who see irony in this, due to the fact he voted twice against Coronavirus relief bills. Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said after Paul’s announcement, he would be self-quarantining, since he sat next to Paul “for extended periods in recent days.”
When the Senator released a statement Monday afternoon, defending his actions, some believed it carried an even greater sense of irony. In addition to the comments noted earlier, after saying he thought it “was highly unlikely” he would test positive, he went on to add:
“Perhaps it is too much to ask that we simply have compassion for our fellow Americans who are sick or fearful of becoming so. “Thousands of people want testing. Many, like David Newman of The Walking Dead, are sick with flu symptoms and are being denied testing. This makes no sense.”
Given his own actions, that statement sounds somewhat devoid of self-awareness. So much so that perhaps we should wonder…”Business As Usual: Is That Really the Way to GO?”
I’m done; holla back!
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