The FBI has launched an investigation into a suspicious package containing a white powder and a threatening letter that was sent to Rand Paul just a day after Richard Marx praised the man who assaulted the senator from Kentucky in 2017.
The package also contained a doctored image of the Republican who is seen heavily bandaged and walking with the aid of a crutch as a rifle appears aimed at his head.
‘I’ll finish what your neighbor started, you motherf**ker,’ the message on the package reads.
News of the threat was first reported on Monday by Fox News.
The photoshopped image attached to the package was doctored from a photo illustration of Paul that was created by GQ magazine as part of a 2017 feature story on the assault that left the Republican senator badly injured.
Senator Rand Paul on Monday received a death threat through the mail. The package included a photoshopped image of the Kentucky senator depicting him as a bandaged and unable to walk while a rifle is pointed at his head. ‘I’ll finish what your neighbor started, you motherf**ker,’ the message on the package reads. The Republican senator is seen above at the US Capitol on May 11
‘I take these threats immensely seriously,’ Paul wrote in a statement Monday. ‘I have been targeted multiple times now, it is reprehensible that Twitter allows C-list celebrities to advocated for violence against me and my family. This must stop.’
Paul was assaulted by Rene Boucher (left), 60, in November 2017 while he was mowing his lawn outside the front of his home. He was tackled from behind and suffered a six broken ribs in the attack – including three displaced fractures
In 2017, Paul suffered five broken ribs after one of his neighbors, Rene Boucher, assaulted the senator as he was doing yard work.
Boucher pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Congress. Last summer he was sentenced to eight months in prison.
‘I take these threats immensely seriously,’ Paul wrote in a statement Monday.
‘I have been targeted multiple times now, it is reprehensible that Twitter allows C-list celebrities to advocated for violence against me and my family. This must stop.
‘Just this weekend Richard Marx called for violence against me and now we receive this despicable powder filled letter.’
Marx, the rock star and 1980s-era hitmaker, tweeted on Sunday: ‘I’ll say it again: If I ever meet Rand Paul’s neighbor I’m going to hug him and buy him as many drinks as he can consume.’
The musician’s comments were in response to an interview in which Paul said that he has no plans to get the COVID-19 vaccine because he has already been infected with and recovered from the disease.
In a statement released on Monday, Paul hit out at 1980s era hitmaker Richard Marx (seen above in Nashville, Indiana in February 2020) for ‘calling for violence against me’
Marx, the 57-year-old rock star, tweeted on Sunday: ‘I’ll say it again: If I ever meet Rand Paul’s neighbor I’m going to hug him and buy him as many drinks as he can consume.’ The tweet appeared to be a reaction to Paul’s comments indicating that he would not be getting the COVID-19 vaccine because he had already been infected and had ‘natural immunity’
‘Until they show me evidence that people who have already had the infection are dying in large numbers or being hospitalized or getting very sick, I just made my own personal decision that I’m not getting vaccinated because I’ve already had the disease and I have natural immunity,’ Paul told WABC-AM radio based in New York City.
The Kentucky senator insisted that Americans should have the freedom to make their own medical decisions without fear of repercussions or shame from the government.
‘In a free country you would think people would honor the idea that each individual would get to make the medical decision,’ he told the Cats Roundtable host John Catsimatidis.
‘Are they also going to tell me I can’t have a cheeseburger for lunch? Are they going to tell me that I have to eat carrots only and cut my calories?’ Paul, an ophthalmologist, questioned.
‘All that would probably be good for me,’ he admitted, ‘but I don’t think big brother ought to tell me to do it.’
Republican Illinois representative Adam Kinzinger immediately excoriated Paul for saying he won’t get the shot.
‘So brave…Such a leader… so manly…’ Kinzinger wrote of Paul.
In March 2020, Paul tested positive for COVID-19 – becoming at the time the first known senator to contract the then-newly emerging disease.
More than a year later, several lawmakers have contracted COVID-19 and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says around three-fourths of the members of Congress have been inoculated.
The CDC released guidance earlier this month that fully vaccinated individuals no longer have to wear masks indoors or outdoors.
Pelosi extended this guidance to the House, where members no longer have to wear face coverings if they received their final vaccine dose at least two weeks prior.
There is also a massive administration-down campaign encouraging the remaining unvaccinated Americans to get the shot after Biden lauded earlier in May that 60 per cent of American adults have received at least one dose.
Vaccine hesitancy is still a major concern – leading to losing restrictions on masks to encourage more people to sign up to get the jab.
The CDC currently advises those who previously contracted coronavirus to still get vaccinated.
‘You should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19,’ the CDC guidance on its website explains. ‘That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19.’
‘Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again,’ it continues.
There are also concerns that people could contract a different strain of the virus, which might otherwise be protected if they get vaccinated.