Sen. Tim Kaine and his wife Anne have tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, he announced Thursday.
In a statement released by the senator’s office, Kaine (D-Va.) said that he had the flu earlier this year, but the symptoms lingered after he was prescribed standard medication to treat it.
“At the end of March, I experienced new symptoms that I initially thought were flu remnants and a reaction to an unusually high spring pollen count. Then Anne experienced a short bout of fever and chills, followed by congestion and eventually a cough,” the 2016 vice presidential candidate said.
After Kaine’s wife, Anne, got sick, the senator said they spoke to their doctors in early April and were told it was possible that they both had contracted mild cases of coronavirus.
“We were both at home in Richmond [after getting the news], working remotely and isolated from others. Due to the national testing shortage, we were not tested for the virus but continued isolating and watched for any worsening of symptoms. By mid-April we were symptom free,” he continued.
Kaine went on to say that the two of them tested positive for the antibodies this month, but did not specify when.
Despite the positive test, the Kaines plan to take the necessary safety precautions to prevent spreading the virus further.
“While those antibodies could make us less likely to be re-infected or infect others, there is still too much uncertainty over what protection antibodies may actually provide. So we will keep following CDC guidelines—hand-washing, mask wearing, social distancing. We encourage others to do so as well. It shows those around you that you care about them.”
Kaine is the second known senator to have contracted the virus, which has killed over 100,000 people.
In late March, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced he had tested positive for COVID-19.
At the time, Paul was lambasted by his Senate colleagues for spending the week he was awaiting his coronavirus results interacting with other lawmakers and aides and using Capitol Hill facilities, such as the Senate gym.
Paul defended himself in response to the backlash, saying, “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.”
He announced in April that he had recovered from the virus.