Pity is wasted on the stupid ..........reserved for the terminally ill and dying ......
WASHINGTON - 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 Chuck 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, D-W.Va., and other Democrats.- ADVERTISEMENT -
Lawmakers of both parties agree that Democrats appear to be victims of their own diligence, testing more frequently than Republicans and publicizing their results more routinely.
"We need every Democrat," said Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., who added that he was doubtful of an actual partisan disparity in viral incidence: "I would venture to suggest that the rates of infection are precisely identical between Democrats and Republicans. One group is publicly disclosing, and one group is not - that is my intuition."
"Either they're not telling us or they're simply not getting tested," said Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii.
According to GovTrack.us, a nonpartisan data clearinghouse that tracks members' coronavirus disclosures, 65 members of Congress have publicly reported positive tests and isolated themselves since the beginning of March, when the omicron wave subsided. The tally does not include Blumenthal's test, which he disclosed Monday.