Sen. John Thune is returning to South Dakota after falling ill today, according to an announcement from his spokesman.
The decision comes as Congress debates a stimulus package worth $2 trillion that would assist businesses and unemployed workers amid the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Thune, 59, is South Dakota’s senior senator and the second-ranking Republican in the Senate.
According to spokesman Ryan Wrasse, Thune woke up this morning not feeling well. He consulted with both a physician in Washington and a physician in Sioux Falls.
“Based on how he was feeling then and now, he was told there was no need for additional action at this point and was encouraged to continue self-monitoring,” Wrasse said Wednesday night on Twitter.
Thune returned home to South Dakota via a private plane, according to his office.
“Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution, he has decided to return home to South Dakota and will continue to consult with his doctor from there,” Wrasse wrote.
News of Thune’s illness comes three days after Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul announced that he had been diagnosed with COVID-19.
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Thune garnered national attention when he defeated former Sen. Tom Daschle in the 2004 election. Daschle was the minority leader in the Senate, and the race was one of the most hotly contested of the cycle.
Congress had been debating a historic stimulus package following a pandemic that started in China and crippled the world’s economy. Congress was considering a $2 trillion package to soften the blow of mass layoffs and business closures.
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