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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director
Sunday, May 3, 2020
Trump Blasts 'CRAZY Nancy P,' Says There's 'TREMENDOUS' Coronavirus TESTING Capacity for Congress
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill Thursday, April 30, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
President Trump on Saturday said there is sufficient coronavirus testing capacity for both the U.S. House and Senate and blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the House’s not returning to Washington, D.C. next week.
“There is tremendous CoronaVirus testing capacity in Washington for the Senators returning to Capital Hill on Monday,” the president said on Twitter. “Likewise the House, which should return but isn’t because of Crazy Nancy P.”
He said the five-minute “Abbott test” would be used and tagged White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows as he also included a direction to “Please inform Dr. Brian P. Monahan,” who is Congress’s in-house physician.
The Democrat-led House this week abandoned plans to reconvene in Washington, D.C. on May 4, citing advice from Dr. Monahan and an increasing number of cases in and around the nation’s capital.
Dr. Monahan said this week he doesn’t have enough rapid coronavirus tests available for all 100 U.S. senators and that he would likely have to limit the testing to senators and staffers who are sick or displaying symptoms, according to multiple reports.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said late Friday that the administration is sending three Abbott “point of care” testing machines and 1,000 tests over for the Senate to use.
Dr. Monahan’s office also released guidelines on Friday urging offices to use teleworking, carefully screen visitors, modify office layouts to promote social distancing, and encourage the use of face coverings.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said if frontline workers can do their jobs amid the pandemic, senators should be able to return to Washington, D.C and do theirs.
Mr. McConnell on Friday said he “strongly” urges his colleagues to consult Dr. Monahan’s guidelines as they get back to work.
“There is critical business waiting for us, including continued action on COVID-19 but also urgent national-security legislation and nominations for key government positions,” the Kentucky Republican said. “We will continue to stand together for the American people — even as we stand six feet apart.”
Though the full House won’t be back, a House Appropriations subcommittee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday on the response to COVID-19.
The panel had sought testimony from Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the most high-profile members of the White House coronavirus task force. But the White House on Friday said Dr. Fauci won’t be able to testify next week, saying it’s counterproductive to take him away from his work right now.
The subcommittee is slated to hear from Dr. Tom Frieden, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the Obama administration, and Caitlin Rivers, assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Dr. Fauci is slated instead to appear before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on May 12.