Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to bring the Senate back to normal operations amid the coronavirus pandemic. She also sent Senators Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) a letter on the subject that is available here.
“More Americans have died from coronavirus than died during the Vietnam War, and America leads the world in both infections and deaths.
“Every day I look at the numbers of new cases and deaths in the world, in the United States, and in California. It is clear that we remain in a critical time. In many states, the spread of this disease is continuing at a steady rate and transmission is even accelerating in others. This is not the time to back off of protective measures.
“The Attending Physician of Congress, Dr. Brian Monahan, advised House leadership that he recommends against resuming their session. Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer did the right thing by heeding this public health advice and are setting the right example for the country.
“That’s why I ask the majority leader to reconsider his plan to reconvene the Senate. He would bring 100 senators and many more staff members and reporters into close proximity while Washington itself remains under a stay-at-home order. There is no way to do this without increased risk. This is the wrong example for the country.
“To date, at least one senator, eight Capitol Police officers and 11 workers with the Architect of the Capitol have tested positive for the virus. As Dr. Monahan convinced leaders in the House, returning the Senate for non-essential business is not worth the risk.”