House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pushed back against renewed calls for members of Congress to be given access to rapid coronavirus testing, maintaining that with equipment limited, there are others in the country who should be given priority over lawmakers.
When Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) revealed this week that he’d tested positive for the virus after being on Capitol Hill around staff and other members of Congress, a growing chorus called for Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to revisit their decision in May to turn down an offer of resources from the Trump administration. The administration said it could supply Congress with the type of quick testing the White House uses.
“It is not a decision of mine, it is a decision of the Capitol Physician as to the need for testing,” Pelosi said when asked about rapid testing access Friday at a news conference. “There are 20,000 people who make the Capitol run, and the Capitol Physician has not said yet that he thinks we should be tested.”
Pelosi said it came down to an issue of equipment and the optics of prioritizing members of Congress over others who work in the Capitol and people around the country.
“We would probably have to do thousands of people, some would say every day, some would say every week,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi did not directly respond when pressed on the fact that lawmakers travel back and forth between D.C. and their districts, many by plane and some from places where the virus is surging.
Rep. Kay Granger (R-Tex.) went into self-quarantine after sitting beside Gohmert on a flight from Texas to D.C. On Friday, her office announced that her coronavirus test came back negative.
Source: The Washington Post