McConnell Won’t Visit Superspreader White House
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says he won’t visit the White House because of what he sees as inadequate procedures for preventing transmission of the coronavirus there. In fact, speaking at an event Thursday at the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport’s corporate offices, he said he hasn’t set foot on the grounds of the executive mansion in more than two months.
“I haven’t actually been to the White House since August the 6th, because my impression was their approach to how to handle this (pandemic) was different from mine and what I insisted we do in the Senate, which was to wear a mask and practice social distancing,” McConnell said.
The majority leader seemed to be criticizing the Trump White House when he went on to add: “If any of you have been around me since May the 1st, I’ve said, ‘Wear your mask. Practice social distancing.’ It’s the only way that we know of to prevent the spread until we get a vaccine. And we practice that in the Senate. Now, you’ve heard of other places that have had a different view, and they are, you know, paying the price for it.”
McConnell was one of just a few top Republicans who did not attend the Sept. 26 White House event formally announcing Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Multiple attendees – Trump, his wife Melania, Kellyanne Conway, Notre Dame University President Rev. John Jenkins – and at least 21 people who work at or have visited the White House have contracted the potentially fatal virus.
Concern about lax White House disease prevention measures and lack contact tracing efforts prompted the Washington, D.C., Department of Health to release an open letter appealing to all White House staff and anyone who attended the Rose Garden event to seek medical advice and take a COVID-19 test.