McConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 outbreak

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Majority Leader in the Senate Mitch McConnellAddison’s (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell Biden Climate Plans May Cut Emissions, Be Good Policy Acting Defense Secretary Takes Surprise Trip to Somalia As Biden administration intensifies, legal effort to Trump drags on MORE (R-Ky.) Will temporarily stop in-person Republican lunches amid an increase in COVID-19 cases, an assistant at The Hill confirmed on Saturday evening.
“With the recent nationwide peaks, extra care is needed to keep the Senators and all campus staff as safe as possible,” a GOP executive assistant told The Hill.

The decision to suspend in-person lunches comes as Congress has seen an increase in coronavirus cases among its members.

Sens. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) Et Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest Grassley Rep. Rick Allen Tests Positive For COVID-19 On The Money: Biden Appoints Yellen As Treasury Secretary | The “COVID cliff” looms | Democrats face pressure to support smaller Loeffler stimulus to continue to self-isolate after conflicting COVID-19 test results READ MORE (R-Iowa) have both tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks.

The majority leader informed Senate Republicans of the change on Saturday, according to the aide. They also said no cases of the coronavirus had been linked to GOP lunches or the activity on the ground.

Since May, members of the Republican caucus have attended socially distant lunches in the Hart Senate building while Democrats have held weekly caucus lunches over the phone.

From now on, Republican senators will have to make calls instead of lunches.

The Senate vote will remain in person and safety precautions will be maintained, such as keeping chamber doors open, keeping votes open for long periods of time, and encouraging members to leave once they have voted. , according to Politico.

Absences from the Senate Chamber due to the pandemic recently led to unintentional blockages on its agenda.

The upper house was unable to move forward with Federal Reserve candidate Judy Shelton, in part due to the quarantine of Scott and Grassley after being exposed to people with the virus , Politico reported.

The Senate is expected to return Monday after the recess.

The news regarding the lunches comes as the United States suffers a staggering increase in coronavirus cases. The country recorded more than 200,000 infections as of Friday alone.



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