McConnell hasn’t visited White House in 2 months over lax COVID-19 rules

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday said he has not been to the White House since August 6, citing the Trump administration’s lax COVID-19 protocols. 
  • “My impression was their approach to how to handle this was different than mine and what I insisted that we do in the Senate, which is to wear a mask and practice social distancing,” McConnell said.
  • The White House is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak that’s seen dozens of people contract the virus, including President Donald Trump.
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday said he has not been to the White House in more than two months, suggesting that the Trump administration’s lax COVID-19 protocols make him feel unsafe. 

The Kentucky Republican said that since early August he’s instead opted to speak with President Donald Trump by phone.

“I actually haven’t been to the White House since August the 6th because my impression was their approach to how to handle this was different than mine and what I insisted that we do in the Senate, which is to wear a mask and practice social distancing,” McConnell said at an event in Kentucky. 

Trump is currently infected with COVID-19 and the White House is dealing with an outbreak that’s seen at least 35 people contract the virus. The list of those who’ve been infected includes the first lady and a number of top aides to the president.  

The infections are largely suspected to be linked to a Sept. 26 event at the Rose Garden where Trump announced that he was nominating Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court. Many attendees could be seen without masks and there was a lack of social distancing. A number of those who went to the event, including Republican senators, have since tested positive. 

Though Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19 just a week ago, he’s already back in the Oval Office despite the fact that he could still be contagious. Trump spent the weekend at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was transferred after his condition worsened last Friday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a person with COVID-19 should not be around other people for at least 10 days after symptoms first appear. 

Trump downplayed the threat of COVID-19 for months prior to contracting the virus, and flouted public health recommendations such as wearing a mask and staying six feet away from others. Just two days before he tested positive, the president mocked former Vice President Joe Biden during the first presidential debate for routinely wearing a mask. 

It’s unclear whether the next two presidential debates will happen given that Trump has the virus and he rejected the possibility of holding a virtual debate to ensure everyone’s safety. 

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