How Many People Will Senate GOP Infect With COVID-19 To Confirm Amy Coney Barrett?
Amy Coney Barrett's sham confirmation hearing kicked off Monday (join Evan's liveblog here!), and Senate Republicans valiantly pretended to care about the health and safety of others during a pandemic.
The nominee herself, Ms. Say Goodbye To Your Healthcare from the great state of Gilead, wore a mask to the hearings, a stark change from her superspreader garden party at the White House. Wearing masks was optional but leaving with COVID-19 wasn't. She's learned so much after the needless infection of others! Let's hurry up and put her on the Supreme Court!
Utah Senator Mike Lee was one of many guests at the Red Death ball who later tested positive for the coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is very clear about what people should do if they have the 'rona: Keep their asses home and only leave the house for medical care.
But Lee is a very busy and important man who Mitch McConnell needs to help ram through a new Supreme Court justice on a party-line vote. Don't worry, though, Lee showed up in person for the hearing wearing a flimsy surgical mask that barely covered his face. He was within six feet of Lindsey Graham, who refused to get tested at all despite repeated exposure to people with the virus, and Chuck Grassley, who is 1,000 years old.
@igorbobic With his mask not fully covering his face, hovering over 80-something-year-old Grassley...🥴— Maya Harris (@Maya Harris)1602511087.0
Graham started the hearing with a pack of lies about why the hearing wasn't yet another potential super spreader event.
GRAHAM: Millions of Americans are going to work today. Somebody may have tested positive ... You make it as safe as possible, you manage the risk, and you go to work.
This is nonsense. From the CDC's own guidelines:
Employees who test positive for COVID-19 (using a viral test, not an antibody test) should be excluded from work and remain in home isolation if they do not need to be hospitalized. Employers should provide education to employees on what to do if they are sick.
The CDC also advises workplaces to "instruct potentially exposed employees to stay home for 14 days, telework if possible, and self-monitor for symptoms." Telework “if possible" means you should work from home if you're physically capable. It doesn't mean that you should bring your infected self to your place of business if it's politically convenient.
Lindsey Graham argues against testing https://t.co/0eRqUCjUf5— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn Torabi)1602524623.0
Graham said he wouldn't permit “political opponents" (or any reputable medical professional) to tell him to get tested. He boasted that there's no other room in the country "that's been given more attention and detail to make sure it's CDC compliant." This is as big a lie as the one he's living (I'm not referring to rumors about his sexuality but the lie that he's an honorable man). A few extra Purell bottles won't change the fact that a sick person is in a closed room, shedding virus all over the place. This really can't wait? We guess it can't because Trump is losing and it's the GOP's last shot to deny millions healthcare during the middle of a public health crisis. But for God's sake, someone keep Lee and Graham away from Dianne Feinstein, who's 87! Rep. Katie Porter would make a great senator someday but NOT LIKE THIS!
Lee wouldn't reveal whether he'd tested negative before the hearing. He reserves a right to privacy about his personal health that he hopes a Justice Barrett will deny American women. Even worse, he refused to wear a mask while lecturing those assembled with his pocket Constitution. How many times do we have to tell these dummies that you must keep your mask on when talking, especially indoors? Researchers at the National Institutes of Health found in fucking April that speech droplets emitted from even asymptomatic carriers can remain in the air for almost 15 minutes, or roughly half the time the GOP will spend confirming Barrett. This is considered the “most likely mode of disease transmission."
A maskless Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who tested positive for COVID 10 days ago, is lecturing about his pocket Constitut… https://t.co/0LtiMxC0bb— The Recount (@The Recount)1602512598.0
Theatre is a major US industry that is dormant right now because mask-less people speaking loudly in a closed space before even a minimal audience just isn't safe. Barrett's hearing is distinctly bad theatre, with a predetermined, totally predictable outcome lacking any suspense or entertainment value.
Louisiana Senator John Kennedy is not much of a theatre person, so he was only able to make bizarre references to popular movies. He claimed the hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh were like the cantina scene in Star Wars, and while I wouldn't personally date any Republican members of the Judiciary Committee, I don't think they're quite that grotesque, at least not physically. Kennedy also suggested that anti-Catholic Democrats (who don't actually exist) might resort to calling Barrett “Rosemary's baby," who was a boy and probably Ted Cruz (allegedly).
Senate Republicans also couldn't stop touching their masks with their dirty hands. You'd think after all these months they'd have learned to just ignore the masks like they do with their consciences.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."