In two separate press reports on October 8, United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell revealed that he has decided not to visit the White House since August 6. Though he has not enforced a mask mandate in the Senate, the Kentucky Republican disagrees with the White House’s management of COVID-19.
“I didn’t feel that they were approaching protection from this illness in the same way that I thought was appropriate for the Senate,” the Kentucky senator disclosed, “and the Senate has been operating in a way that has largely prevented contraction of this disease.”
McConnell’s statement has followed reports of numerous White House staff members recently contracting the coronavirus, including President Donald Trump. Allegedly caused in part due to Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination event at the Rose Garden, the recent infections have led to a large-scale change in the White House’s operations leading up to election day, such as shifting campaign work online.
In his press conference, McConnell also took a swipe at the White House, describing how there are “other places that have had a different view, and they are, you know- paying the price for it,” after talking about the Senate’s rules. Three senators have contracted COVID-19 throughout the pandemic, which has led to their move towards a hybrid online and in-person hearing style. The White House has also updated its own pandemic policies since Trump’s diagnosis, with increased protective equipment and masks.
“Wear your mask and practice social distancing,” McConnell mused, “It’s the only way we know of to prevent the spread until we get a vaccine.”