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Republican Senator Joni Ernst Says Judiciary Committee Should Be Tested for COVID-19 Ahead of Supreme Court Hearings

Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) said Saturday that her colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Commitee should get tested for COVID-19 before hearings to consider Appellate Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court begin on Monday.

Photo by Erin Scott-Pool/Getty Images

“I actually do think that it would be smart to do that,” she told reporters during a two-day motorcycle ride. “I hate to do it without having reasons to do so, but I think if we’re going to be working in close proximity over long hours it’s probably not a bad idea.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Ernst was “right,” but wanted to know what Ernst plans on doing if the other Republican lawmakers on the Committee decline to get tested.

“She’s right, but will Senator Ernst do anything if Senators Graham and Grassley refuse? Or is this just an empty statement? So far Republicans have shown themselves to be as reckless with the health of Senators, staff, and workers as they are with the health of Americans,” Schumer said.

Chairman Lindsey Graham (SC) has refused to take a test, forcing the cancellation of the debate between him and his Democratic opponent, Jaime Harrison, which was scheduled for Friday night.

Graham accused Harrison of “skipping” the debate.

“Appears @harrisonjaime is skipping tonights debate. Mr. Harrision is ducking the debate because the more we know about his radical policies, the less likely he is to win. It’s not about medicine, its politics,” wrote Graham. “His liberal views are a loser in South Carolina – and he knows it!

Graham said that Harrison was “demanding special treatement” and suggested that he was personally offended by being asked to take an antigen test.

“Mr. Harrison is demanding special treatment,” Graham said. “Other than Mr. Harrison, is any other South Carolinian demanding every person they come in contact with be tested before they meet?”

Graham then asked a series of frustratingly rhetorical questions.

“Are South Carolina workers demanding all their coworkers and customers be tested before going to work? Do restaurants demand their staff & customers be tested before opening?”

Two Republican members of the Committee – Mike Lee (UT) and Thom Tillis (NC) – have already tested positive.



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