House Speaker Nancy Pelosi doesn’t miss a chance to get in front of microphones, climb on top of her high horse, and lecture others (including President Trump) on minding coronavirus guidelines, but when you watch what she does – and not what she says – it’s a whole different story. Pelosi was caught breaking COVID restrictions in San Francisco last month when she went to get her “hair did” at a closed salon, and now she’s accused of refusing to implement sensible coronavirus testing for House lawmakers at the Capitol.
This weekend, Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) called on the House Speaker to implement the testing so that Congress could return to normal business without relying on workarounds like virtual votes. He sent a letter to Pelosi to express his deep concerns.
“I am writing again today to reiterate my concern that we do not have a comprehensive health monitoring system and testing program for our Capitol Hill campus in order to help us do our part to stop the spread of coronavirus,” wrote Davis. “I have stood ready to engage with your office and my counterpart on the Committee on House Administration for months, but my requests have gone unanswered.
“While I appreciate,” he continued, “that the attending physician has been able to conduct COVID-19 testing for members who have symptoms or have been exposed, provide very limited staff testing, and advise offices on contact tracing, our ability to monitor the health and safety of the House is severely lacking because you have failed to implement a plan.”
In remarks to Fox News this weekend, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) said that Davis was right in pushing Pelosi to do more.
“Congressman Davis is exactly correct,” Scalise said. “I mean these protocols have been out there and the testing capabilities have been out there for a long time. They were offered to the speaker and she turned it down. I think it’s something that should have been in Congress for a few weeks now, but ultimately that’s what the speaker decided to do.”
Back in May, when Pelosi and Schumer rejected the Trump administration’s offer of rapid-response test kits, we could almost understand it. Back then, we were still in a situation where it was difficult to get people tested as quickly as possible in many states, and it would have looked bad, politically, if Congress was enjoying that privilege while Americans all over the country were having to wait. That’s no longer the case, however, and it’s important that we do everything possible to make sure our government is in working order.
Pelosi, once again, is putting her own political ambitions ahead of what’s best for the nation. No surprise.