Romney Expresses Senators’ Concerns After Paul Tests Positive For Coronavirus

UNITED STATES - MARCH 17: Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, leaves the Senate Republican Policy luncheon in Russell Building on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin attended to discuss the coronavirus relief package. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) leaves the Senate Republican Policy luncheon on March 17, 2020.(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
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Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) expressed his and other senators’ concerns following the news that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) tested positive for the coronavirus earlier Sunday.

Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill Sunday afternoon, Romney said he was “very unhappy” to hear about Paul’s diagnosis and that he wishes him the “very best.”

“He’s compromised, given health conditions he’s had in the past, so we’ll be praying for him and thinking about him,” Romney said.

Romney added that all senators will seek medical advice regarding what action should be taken to ensure that they don’t spread the coronavirus themselves.

When asked about having lunch with Paul during a Senate GOP lunch on Friday, Romney responded that “we have to determine whether any of us should self-quarantine as a result of being in the same room.”

Later Sunday, Romney announced in a tweet that he is self-quarantining due to sitting next to Paul for “extended periods in recent days.” Romney’s announcement followed Sen. Mike Lee‘s (R-UT) decision to self-quarantine in reaction to Paul’s diagnosis.

Romney’s remarks came shortly before Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delayed a procedural vote on a trillion-dollar coronavirus stimulus package until later Sunday. McConnell’s move came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that House Democrats would introduce their own coronavirus stimulus bill after congressional leaders failed to reach a deal on the package.

Watch Romney’s remarks below:

Shortly after Romney’s remarks aired, NBC News reported that senators are contemplating whether they need to depart Capitol Hill immediately and self-quarantine.

Politico reported that Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) said in a GOP lunch Sunday that he saw Paul swimming at the Senate gym pool in the morning, shortly before his office announced that he tested positive for the coronavirus.

CNN’s Manu Raju also reported on Moran’s remarks during the GOP lunch.

Paul’s office responded to reports of Moran’s remark in a Sunday afternoon tweet, clarifying that the Kentucky senator departed the Senate “IMMEDIATELY” upon learning that he tested positive for the coronavirus.

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