As coronavirus cases spike across the country, President Donald Trump and his top officials say everything is mostly under control. But Senate Republicans are pressing them to show a little urgency.
The latest outbreaks are also reshaping the GOP’s political and legislative strategy, with Republicans planning to focus more on health care in the next coronavirus relief bill. And they’re flashing rare frustration at the Trump administration for its decision to wind down federally supported testing sites.
“Frankly I didn’t really understand what they were thinking. … At a time cases are spiking, we’re gonna pull back?” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who wrote a letter to the administration along with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) urging them to change course.
He predicted a reversal: “I’d be surprised if there’s a good reason not to continue it.”
Meanwhile Trump is still downplaying the virus’ impact, questioning the value of testing and ridiculing the idea of wearing a mask despite holding large-scale campaign rallies. While touring an auto plant last month in Michigan, Trump rejected using a mask, saying it was “not necessary.”
But mask-wearing has become virtually ubiquitous among GOP senators and some are now urging Trump to set an example by wearing a face covering, which medical experts say helps slow the spread of the virus. [Continue reading…]