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Rand Paul appointed by Donald Trump to be on task force to reopen economy amid COVID-19

Louisville Courier-Journal logo Louisville Courier-Journal 4/16/2020 Ben Tobin, Louisville Courier Journal

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has been appointed by President Donald Trump to a bipartisan congressional task force to look at loosening COVID-19 restrictions in order to reopen the country's economy.

Paul, the junior senator from Kentucky who has been a long-time Trump ally, is one of more than a dozen Republican senators to have been appointed to the task force.

"I am pleased to be joining the bipartisan task force on reopening the economy," Paul, who recently recovered from the coronavirus, said in a statement Thursday. "Together with President Trump, we will get this economy roaring once again."

Rand Paul wearing a suit and tie: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. (AP Photo/ Jacquelyn Martin) © Jacquelyn Martin, AP Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. (AP Photo/ Jacquelyn Martin)

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"We need to let Americans get safely back to work and bring prosperity to this nation anew," he added.

Background: Rand Paul says he has now tested negative for the coronavirus

Other notable names to be tapped for the task force include Republican senators Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and Josh Hawley of Missouri as well as Democratic senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Dick Durbin of Illinois.

With more than 22 million Americans, including roughly 400,000 Kentuckians, filing for unemployment over the past four weeks, Trump has been repeatedly emphasizing that portions of the economy must reopen sooner rather than later.

More: About 400,000 Kentuckians filed for unemployment over past month due to COVID-19 woes

Those calls have led people to gather and protest governors in various states, such as in Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky. In the Bluegrass State, dozens of protesters gathered outside the Kentucky State Capitol to demand that Gov. Andy Beshear loosen the restrictions he has placed on businesses in response to the coronavirus.

Asked about the protesters' calls to reopen businesses immediately in defiance of his orders, Beshear said Wednesday "that would cause the death of more Kentuckians."

More: Protests erupt outside Capitol over Beshear's handling of pandemic, disrupting briefing

Contact Ben Tobin at bjtobin@gannett.com and 502-582-4181 or follow on Twitter @TobinBen. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: subscribe.courier-journal.com.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Rand Paul appointed by Donald Trump to be on task force to reopen economy amid COVID-19

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