You can find my latest update below!
Eastern Kentucky Flood Disaster Assistance
Excessive rainfall caused deadly flash flooding across Eastern Kentucky recently leading to significant rescue efforts as a result of blocked roads and destroyed bridges from high water, mud slides, and downed trees. Dozens of Kentuckians are confirmed dead, with some still unaccounted for. Hundreds of homes and businesses are severely damaged or totally lost.
I appreciate the swift action by the Biden administration in declaring a federal emergency, and the unity from our congressional delegation in helping those affected.
Kelley and I continue to send our thoughts and prayers to those in Eastern Kentucky.
As your Senator, I am committed to doing all that I can to assist local and state officials as they manage recovery and relief efforts. We've been on the ground helping the past two weeks and will continue to work alongside first responders and volunteers in the coming weeks and months.
My office is also helping those who are in need of help with the FEMA Disaster Relief process. If you are in need of assistance, you can reach my state office at (270) 782-8303, and one of my staff members will be happy to help.
For the latest information about the federal government's ongoing disaster recovery efforts in Kentucky, please visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)'s Kentucky disaster webpage: www.fema.gov/disaster/4663
For more information on flood disaster assistance please visit HERE.
Dr. Rand Paul Leads First Congressional Hearing on Gain-of-Function Research
Last Wednesday, as Ranking Member of the Senate HSGAC Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight I held the first Congressional hearing on gain-of-function research as it relates to the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The purpose of this hearing was to examine issues involving gain-of-function research, which attempts to enhance the severity and transmissibility of existing viruses that may infect humans or other mammals. Witnesses included Dr. Richard H. Ebright, Ph.D., Laboratory Director of Waksman Institute of Microbiology, Dr. Steven Quay, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer at Atossa Therapeutics, Inc., and Dr. Kevin M. Esvelt, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Media Arts & Sciences of MIT Media Lab.
These medical and scientific professionals informed and educated lawmakers and the public on the many issues involving the risky, virus-enhancing research that is funded by taxpayer money, and recommendations for future congressional oversight.
If COVID-19 leaked from the Wuhan lab, it would be a laboratory-created virus that the Wuhan scientists have not yet, and are unlikely ever, to reveal.
I maintain that the techniques that the NIH funded in Wuhan to create enhanced pathogens may also have been used to create COVID-19.
What we heard on Wednesday was three prominent scientists all agree that dangerous gain-of-function research was being funded in Wuhan. This reconfirms that Dr. Fauci is not being honest with us about the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) funding gain-of-function research in Wuhan.
We learned a lot from this hearing on Wednesday, but it's only the start.
Congress needs stronger government oversight of how our tax dollars are being used to finance experimenting with mutating fatal diseases with outstandingly high mortality rates.
And while we may never know whether the pandemic arose from a lab in Wuhan or occurred naturally, the emergence of COVID serves as a reminder that dangerous research conducted in a secretive and totalitarian country is simply too risky to fund.
I look forward to continuing these discussion and hosting future hearings as chairman of a senate committee when republicans retake the majority next year.
You can watch Dr. Paul's opening remarks HERE and the full hearing HERE.
Dr. Rand Paul Meets with Law Enforcement Officers in Elizabethtown
Recently, I met with a group of law enforcement officers in Elizabethtown where we discussed the continued calls from the left to defund the police and the negative connotations presented by the mainstream media about police.
We've seen what happens when there are less police on the streets. Just look at New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Crime is at an all-time high, and yet the mayors of these cities want to defund their law enforcement and abolish police. Kentucky is largely a pro-law enforcement state, and we need to make sure it stays that way.
I have always been a strong supporter of law enforcement and will continue to support the men and women who put their lives on the line for our communities.
Dr. Rand Paul Visits Total Equine Services in Falmouth
Recently, while traveling in Kentucky, I was able to visit and recognize Total Equine Services in Falmouth as a previous Senate Small Business of the Week.
The breeding, training, and of course racing of horses is an integral component in the history and culture of our beautiful commonwealth. For that reason, I am delighted to honor a business so involved in that iconic industry, Total Equine Services, founded by Steve Thomas and his wife Patti Thomas.
When it comes to raising Quarter horses, Steve Thomas is a seasoned veteran. He and his wife founded Total Equine Services fifteen years ago, but he has over twenty years' experience caring for this breed under his belt. Together they opened the business which initially offered only an arena where one could come and ride horses. They quickly expanded to provide a variety of services ranging from boarding, breeding, and training horses.
In addition to that same arena, the Thomas' constructed a Foaling Barn and sixteen enclosed stalls where owners can board their horses. The Thomas' also offer nutrition and feed balancing services as well as a full tack shop where one can satisfy all their riding equipment needs. When it comes to the care and maintenance of horses, Total Equine Services offers a full package.
With parents like Steve and Patti, it is no wonder that their son Jason Thomas grew up with a love for horses. He and his wife Nikki Thomas have joined the team at Total Equine Services.
Needless to say, training of this sort requires meticulous repetition and a keen eye for detail, which Nikki gladly brings to the arena. And with all the exercise and activity that their stock see, the Thomas' make sure to keep their horses properly shod, with Jason being a certified farrier, a blacksmith that creates horseshoes, who keeps their fleet equipped with the proper horseshoes they need.
The Thomas' have developed a reputation for covering every need a horse owner or rider might have, but they are also highly regarded for their breeding services. Their current stud horse, Redneck Jettin Down, has not only won several local shows, but he has also placed at national competitions held through the American Quarter Horse Association.
The equine industry plays an active part of the Kentucky identity, and it is businesses like Total Equine Services that retain the respect and renown of that industry by taking special care of their breeds. Moreover, the Thomas' and families like them play a vital role in our state's economy, as they support commerce within our more rural communities.
Congratulations to Steve, Patti, Jason, and Nikki Thomas and the rest of the team at Total Equine Services. I wish them the best of luck and look forward to watching their continued growth and success in Kentucky.
You can learn more about Total Equine Services HERE.
Dr. Rand Paul Visits Woodford County Farm Bureau in Versailles
At the Woodford County Farm Bureau meeting, generalized inflation across labor, fertilizer, and feed was a main point of discussion. I shared with them one solution to high prices for the agriculture industry, my PRIME Act. It would ease prices by giving individual states the freedom to permit intrastate distribution of custom-slaughtered meat such as beef, pork, goat or lamb to consumers, restaurants, hotels, boarding houses, and grocery stores.
As for generalized inflation, I told them that in the short term I'm pessimistic for two reasons. Either one, inflation continues, or two, interest rates skyrocket and cause a recession.
There is a moral to this story. Don't shut our economy down. Don't spend billions testing people that aren't sick. Don't destroy our kids' education. None of these Democrats' pandemic-era policy decisions made any sense nor were they based in science.
I read a study earlier that day based on masking requirements across Fargo, North Dakota K-12 school districts. The study took two adjacent school districts, one with a mask mandate and the other without, and compared them. Surprise, no statistically significant difference in case rates was observed.
Overall, though, I do think we get through this because America is a great and resilient country, and we'll continue to be a great country, but we have a choice. We can keep capitalism or go towards socialism. I'm all in on continuing to defend our God given liberty, and I think we will persevere and get through this troubling time and come out better in the end.
Dr. Rand Paul Recognizes Larry's Mini Mart of Whitley City as Senate Small Business of the Week
As Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, each week I recognize an outstanding Kentucky small business that exemplifies the American entrepreneurial spirit. This past week, I recognized Larry's Mini Mart of Whitley City as the Senate Small Business of the Week.
When Larry Sumner founded Larry's Somerset Oil in 1973, he had no idea it would grow into the family business that it is today. Larry got his start in business when he opened his service station in Somerset, KY. Three years later, he relocated to Whitley City. It was there in Whitley City that Larry's children watched their father run a business that bolstered their home-town community. As the Sumner children grew older, they learned first-hand what it meant to devote one's energy to their customers, so it was only natural that they inherited their father's entrepreneurial nature. Thus, Larry Sumner's business continues operating today in the exact location he moved to in 1976, with the Sumner children at the helm of operations.
Today Larry's Mini Mart, as it is now called, is Whitley City's one stop shop for full-service gas, kerosene, and diesel. Unlike the days of old, most people nowadays pump their own gas and rarely interact with the folks working at their local gas stations. That is not the case for Larry's Mini Mart, as they carry on the tradition of pumping gas for their customers, always doing it with a smile. Larry's is also the local stop where folks can drop in to pick up cold drinks, snacks, ice, and anything else they might need whether in a hurry or just for an afternoon excursion. Larry's Mini Mart even goes beyond what a typical service station offers by renting out their extra storage space to their loyal customers.
When the late Larry Sumner first opened his business back in the 1970's, he wanted to create a place that was more than the average filling station. He understood that offering quality service and a wide variety of conveniences would make his store a success, but his dream went beyond those of profits. Larry Sumner's goal was to create a place that would foster community within the town of Whitley City. When Larry Sumner's son Mark and daughter Marlo took over the business in 1998 following their father's death, they stayed true to his mission. Today, as it has always been, Larry's Mini Mart is a place where locals can come to catch up on the latest news in the county, whether that news travels through the local paper or word-of-mouth. As is often the case with small towns, sometimes it takes a trip down to Larry's just to hear about the goings-on about town, and the late Larry Sumner would not have it any other way.
Larry's Mini Mart is known not only for their quality service and charitable spirit, but they also maintain their reputation for being a fantastic place to work. Currently, Mark Sumner and his wife Stephanie operate Larry's with the help of their daughter Taylor and their son Tyler. This family affair fosters a friendly environment, so much so that two of Larry's Mini Mart employees have worked for the business for over forty years. That type of longevity clearly shows that Larry's is not your average service station. Larry's Mini Mart is a community institution that goes above and beyond to support their friends and neighbors, whether it be during or outside of their regular business hours. Congratulations to the Sumner family and entire team at Larry's Mini Mart. I look forward to seeing your continued growth and success in Kentucky.
Dr. Rand Paul to Host 2022 Fall Service Academy Information Fair for Kentucky Students
A very rewarding aspect of being a United States Senator is the opportunity to nominate young men and women from across the state to attend our nation's prestigious service academies.
My office will be hosting our 2022 Fall Service Academy Information Fair for Kentucky students on Thursday, August 25 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. CST. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. CST.
Please RSVP to my Bowling Green Office at (270) 782-8303.
Media Wrap Up
This past week, I joined the Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime on Fox News, The Balance with Eric Bolling on Newsmax, Sean Hannity Show, Robby Soave on The Hill Rising, John Hines with OANN, the Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Radio Show, Julie Mason Mornings, Alex Marlow on Breitbart, Lisa Boothe on the Dan Bongino Show, Adam May on WHOP, and Brian Thomas on WKRC.
Have an Issue or Concern?
If you are a Kentucky resident and need assistance with a federal agency or with navigating the federal response and ongoing community needs related to COVID-19, please feel free to contact my Bowling Green office at (270) 782-8303. One of my staff members will be more than happy to assist you.
If you would like my office to assist with casework on your behalf, please fill out a Privacy Release Form HERE or visit www.paul.senate.gov/privacy-release-form to print a copy and mail it to my Bowling Green office.
Stay in Touch with Dr. Paul
You can stay up to date on my latest news and activities by visiting my Senate Website, www.paul.senate.gov, or my official Facebook and Twitter pages.
You can watch my Senate floor speeches and press interviews on Rumble HERE. You can also sign up to be notified about my telephone town hall events HERE.