A Senate COVID Reality

There are many reasons why the geriatric age of many Senate Democrats (including some of the good ones!) is an issue, but it’s particularly a problem during a fucking pandemic as some asshole with a blogTwitter feed noted recently:

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If you don’t believe me, here’s a professional journalist describing the obvious (boldface mine):

In recent months, the members of Congress who have publicly reported coronavirus cases overwhelmingly have been Democrats — including the party’s two top leaders on Capitol Hill — posing a big and ironic problem for the majority party.

By testing more frequently than their Republican colleagues, Democrats are facing the possibility that their strict adherence to public health protocols could backfire as they pursue the passage of major domestic policy legislation through the 50-50 Senate in the coming weeks.

The stakes were placed into stark relief after Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) reported positive tests, making them unable to vote this week. While their absence has not affected this week’s Senate agenda, and both senators have continued to work while isolated, any future Democratic absences could upend plans to pass the party-line economic package that is now under negotiation between Schumer, Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and other Democrats.

…The Senate, however, does not allow proxy voting, and the margins are tighter — Vice President Harris’s tiebreaking vote is all that guarantees Democrats’ majority in a Senate that has been evenly split between the parties since January 2021.

…On Capitol Hill this week, the vast majority of senators went maskless, though a handful of Democrats still wear them faithfully. Lines at the Senate testing center, which often featured hour-long waits during covid waves, are now largely nonexistent

But other senators and aides are quietly starting to wonder whether more precautions are warranted, given the stakes for both health and policy. Some have discussed encouraging more mask-wearing and substituting Zoom meetings for in-person gatherings.

“The whole country is depending on us, so we need to stay healthy,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). “As we get closer to go-time, we should be increasingly careful.”

I’ve written this before, but if I were a senator, I would institute really rigorous office screening and wear a mask. Moreover, if enough of them get it, someone will get long COVID and be unable to attend for months (or even have to resign)–this applies to Biden administration officials too. And many of them are old, very old, and could be at risk for severe disease.

Wear your fucking masks, you assholes (that includes your staff).

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