Mitch McConnell says he hasn’t gone near White House since August because Donald Trump and his aides refused to wear masks or socially distance
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admitted he hasn’t been to the White House in two months because of President Donald Trump and his aide’s refusal to take COVID-19 precautions.
‘I haven’t actually been to the Whtie House since August the 6th,’ McConnell said in Kentucky Thursday, according to NBC News. ‘Because my impression was that their approach to how to handle this is different from mine and what I suggested that we do in Senate, which is wear a mask and practice social distancing.’
McConnell said some people are ‘paying the price’ for not heeding public health warnings.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that he hadn’t gone to the White House in two months because Donald Trump and his aides didn’t wear masks nor practice social distancing, which the Kentucky Republican recommends
President Donald Trump has been resistant to wear a mask since April, when the CDC first recommended Americans put them on. He’s seen Monday night tearing off his mask at the White House after returning from Walter Reed, still infected by the coronavirus
‘If any of you’ve been around me since May the 1st, I’ve said “wear your mask, practice social distancing, it’s the only way we know of to prevent the spread until we get a vaccine,”‘ McConnell continued. ‘And we’ve practiced that in the Senate. Now you’ve heard about other places that have had a different view and they are, you know, paying the price for it.’
The 78-year-old Kentucky Republican’s comments come as Trump is still recovering from the coronavirus, with Melania Trump, Hope Hicks, Stephen Miller and other White House and political aides also testing positive.
The White House has deliberately not followed the U.S. government’s own health guidelines to stop the spread of the coronavirus, notably at the September 26 Rose Garden event where Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court was announced.
Chairs were not spread out throughout the Rose Garden and most attendees didn’t wear masks.
That event has now been called a ‘superspreader’ event, due to the number of people who attended who have since tested positive for the coronavirus.
Among them are two of McConnell’s GOP colleagues: Sens’ Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina. A third, Sen. Ron Johnson, also tested positive for the coronavirus, but didn’t attend the Rose Garden event.
Former White House Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway was at the White House that day, she’s also tested positive for the virus. As did John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame.
Since April, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first recommended mask-wearing, the president has been resistant.
He even took off his mask Monday after he returned to the White House from Walter Reed Medical Center, despite still actively having the coronavirus.
McConnell’s comments were a watered-down version of what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday.
‘I wouldn’t go anywhere near the White House. It’s one of the most dangerous places in the country,’ Pelosi said during an appearance on ‘The View.’ ‘Both in terms of the assault that it makes on truth as well as health,’ she added.
During Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate, Vice President Mike Pence was asked about the White House’s cavalier approach at its own events.
‘You were in the front row at a Rose Garden event 11 days ago that seems to be a superspreader event for senior officials – no social distancing, few masks, and now a cluster of coronavirus cases among those who were there,’ she said. ‘How can you expect Americans to follow the administration’s safety guidelines to protect themselves from covid when you at the White House have not been doing so?’
Pence noted that there had been a ‘great deal of speculation’ about the Rose Garden event, but noted that ‘many people at that event were actually tested for the coronavirus.’
He also pointed out that it was held outdoors.
‘The difference here is President Trump and I trust the American people to make choices in the best interest of their health,’ he said.