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.
I knew Republicans were into vote suppression but this seems over the top.
New York Post : McConnell won’t let Senate vote remotely amid coronavirus fears.https://t.co/tAYlbqC40g
— America Is Not Russia 👍🏽🇺🇲🚫🇷🇺👎🏽 (@Fight_4_USA_Now) March 18, 2020
— AaronsNina60 (@AaronsNina60) March 18, 2020
Well, the "Grim Reaper of the Senate", Mitch McConnell just cemented his place (low as it already is) in history as an ignorant & clueless fool; refusing to join the world in telecommuting/teleconferencing, working remotely. https://t.co/zP76tH9yuF
— William Sidwell (@billsidwell) March 17, 2020
Just because this deer-in-headlights doesn't know how to use an iPad, the entire country has to wait just a little longer for assistance. With timing being so critical, we can't have this nonsense. https://t.co/aio3oeOmtS
— Nik Kolidas (@NikKolidas) March 18, 2020
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.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.