Despite COVID Panic on Capitol Hill, Pelosi Is Accused of Blocking Comprehensive Testing of House Members

AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool

 

Democrats are acting very strange about the pandemic. On the one hand, their media friends demand to know every bit of minutiae surrounding the President’s health as he recovers at Walter Reed while they simultaneously publicly push for prolonged restrictions and mask mandates. On the other, according to two Republican lawmakers, at least one high-profile Democrat party leader has adopted a rather unconcerned position when it comes to gathering information about the spread of the virus on Capitol Hill by blocking a plan to implement widespread testing in the House of Representatives.

Americans returning to school, sports, public sector jobs, and community activities have opened themselves up to being tested to help control the spread of, and collect data about, the pandemic. But two House legislators are calling out Speaker Nancy Pelosi for refusing to implement similar testing requirements for House members and their staffs, calling her refusal politically motivated and unacceptable.

Pelosi and Democrats are using the potential spread of COVID on the Hill as a pretext for delaying the confirmation hearings of SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett, but House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), the ranking Republican on the Committee on House Administration, say that Pelosi is uninterested in finding out just how pervasive infection might be in the House despite protocols for comprehensive testing being available for several weeks.

Davis, in a letter to Pelosi last week, pleaded for widespread testing “in order to help us do our part to stop the spread of coronavirus.”

“I have stood ready to engage with your office and my counterpart on the Committee on House Administration for months, but my requests have gone unanswered. While I appreciate that the attending physician has been able to conduct COVID-19 testing for members who have symptoms or have been exposed, provide very limited staff testing, and advise offices on contact tracing, our ability to monitor the health and safety of the House is severely lacking because you have failed to implement a plan.”

“The attending physician gives recommendations to our community, but the policies on how we govern the House are set by you and a widespread testing program has not been adopted because you have opposed it.”

Davis also suggested that Pelosi’s adherence to current testing protocols may be politically motivated and “should not reflect the news of the day or be to politically shield your office when difficult news breaks. This is not an acceptable way to communicate and continues to show your partisanship on this issue.”

[T]oday provided a stark reminder that you and other members of Congress were able to receive a COVID-19 test, while in other instances essential workers of the House have been denied the same test because your office has failed to implement what you have called for nationwide. This is a “do as I say, not as I do” approach to governing that has been politicized when policies are inconsistently communicated and enforced and falls short of what our constituents deserve.

Scalise noted on Fox & Friends Saturday that the Speaker had “turned down” new protocols for widespread testing of those working in and around the House of Representatives.

For her part, Pelosi told CBS’ Face The Nation she was pleased with current testing and implied that the White House had a poor program in place and that there may have been a false negative that led to Trump’s exposure.

Which, of course, isn’t exactly lucid. A cynic might be led to believe that Pelosi, for all her posturing with fashion masks that match every outfit, doesn’t actually want to know who might be infected on Capitol Hill because the results might not be widespread enough to justify delaying the SCOTUS hearings.

Which says two things. 1.) She’s not actually afraid of the virus. And 2.) she’ll politicize anything and put people at risk to meet her political gamesmanship goals.