A top Republican lawmaker revealed Saturday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has been offered the chance to provide coronavirus testing to members of Congress, but has turned it down.
According to Breitbart, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) said on Fox & Friends Weekend that the “protocols” for COVID-19 testing have been available to Capitol Hill for “a long time.” Sadly, he said, Pelosi has failed to implement them.
“These protocols have been out there and the testing capabilities have been out there for a long time,” Scalise told Fox, according to Breitbart. “They were offered to the speaker and she turned it down.”
The Republican went on: “I think it’s something that should have been in Congress for a few weeks now. But you know, ultimately, that’s what the speaker decided to do.”
Coronavirus at the capitol
The news comes as confirmed cases of the coronavirus continue to climb among politicians in Washington, with numerous Republicans in Congress, First Lady Melania Trump, and even the president himself coming down with COVID-19 in recent days, Reuters confirmed Sunday. Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Mike Lee (R-UT), as well as Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien and former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway are among those who have been diagnosed.
They join some 7.4 million Americans who have also tested positive for the disease, according to The New York Times. At least 209,000 are said to have died.
Still, Pelosi hasn’t implemented a consistent strategy for testing members of Congress, Scalise contends.
“You have failed”
The minority whip’s remarks to Fox came after Rep. Rodney Davis, a Republican from Illinois, had voiced his own concerns to the House speaker over the lack of a coronavirus “testing program for our Capitol Hill campus.”
“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,” Davis, who himself battled COVID-19 in August, wrote in a letter to Pelosi Friday.
Speaking with Fox, Scalise said that “Congressman Davis is exactly correct.”
“Nobody is safe”
Pelosi, for her part, said she was tested for COVID-19 on Friday, according to Fox, but the speaker expressed skepticism over the accuracy of the results. “I have concerns about the test because obviously the tests that are happening at the White House are not as accurate as they should be,” she said, as Fox reported.
She also “re-upped her calls for Republicans to pass coronavirus relief legislation,” Fox noted — never mind the fact that it’s Pelosi who has failed to budge in negotiations. “None of us is safe until we are sure that everybody is safe,” the House speaker contended.