Mitch McConnell Criticized For Not Allowing Senate To Vote Remotely During Pandemic

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) faces a volley of criticism after telling reporters that he won’t allow senators to vote remotely to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“We’ll not be doing that. There are a number of different ways to avoid getting too many people together,” McConnell told members of the press. “We can deal with the social distancing issue without fundamentally changing Senate rules.”

Health experts have advised the nation’s citizens to stay home and practice social distancing in an attempt to “flatten the curve” of the virus. McConnell’s comments were soon rebuked online, particularly as the nation waits for members of Congress to approve a coronavirus relief package for everyone affected by nationwide shutdowns. The coronavirus is particularly deadly for seniors, and the median age of senators 61.8 years, “among the oldest in U.S. history,” according to the Senate’s official website.

Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the Democratic whip, sparked the call for remote work yesterday morning, saying, “It’s time for the Senate to wake up to the 21st century and make sure we’re using technology that allows us to communicate with each other without any danger or risk to public health.”

Coronavirus cases around the United States continue to mount; over 9,200 infections and 152 deaths have been attributed to the disease.