In the coming days, our nation will be facing the brunt of the coronavirus threat, as the stealthily-spread disease continues to wreak havoc on communities large and small.
We all must do our part in order to thwart the threat of the virus. While COVID-19’s mortality rate may seem low by percentage, the sheer number of Americans who will be infected could drive the deaths into the hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions if social distancing guidelines are not followed.
Americans will also need to practice some discipline in these trying times, as hoarding of supplies and other resources, (such as the precious time of our medical professionals), will only cause further trouble.
That’s why many Americans were upset with Senator Rand Paul for having himself tested for COVID-19 while not showing any symptoms of the illness. Paul, who did indeed test positive for the virus, shared his reasoning:
“I believe we need more testing immediately, even among those without symptoms. The nature of COVID-19 put me – and us all – in a Catch-22 situation. I didn’t fit the criteria for testing or quarantine. I had no symptoms and no specific encounter with a COVID-19 positive person,” Paul said in a statement. “I had, however, traveled extensively in the U.S. and was required to continue doing so to vote in the Senate. That, together with the fact that I have a compromised lung, led me to seek testing.”
Paul revealed in August that he had undergone surgery to remove a part of his lung damaged during his 2017 assault by a neighbor.
Paul noted that despite the diagnosis, he remains asymptotic of the illness that has infected over 40,000 people and killed 479 in the United States. He then pushed back on criticism of his decision to undergo testing, arguing that had he not sought out a test, he may have still been interacting with others on Capitol Hill, putting them at risk of infection.
“For those who want to criticize me for lack of quarantine, realize that if the rules on testing had been followed to a tee, I would never have been tested and would still be walking around the halls of the Capitol. The current guidelines would not have called for me to get tested nor quarantined. It was my extra precaution, out of concern for my damaged lung, that led me to get tested,” Paul said. “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.
Medical professionals around the country have been concerned that a lack of supplies could affect their ability to contain COVID-19, and have prioritized testing for those with symptoms who are in at-risk populations such as Rand Paul is, having had his lungs damaged years ago.
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