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McConnell avoids White House because of its lax response to coronavirus

“Well, look. It won’t surprise you to know we talk frequently — on the phone,” McConnell said in response to a question about Trump’s health. “I haven’t actually been to the White House since August the 6th, because my impression was their approach to how to handle this was different from mine and what I insisted that we do in the Senate, which is to wear a mask and practice social distancing.”

McConnell said he thinks Trump, who returned to the White House on Monday after being hospitalized over the weekend, is “perfectly fine.”

“He seems normal,” McConnell said, “and we’ve been discussing the very issues that you all are discussing to me right now.”

McConnell made the remarks at an event at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport where he focused on Cares Act funding.

McConnell has frequently urged lawmakers and others to wear face masks, although he has stopped short of implementing a mask mandate on the Senate side of the Capitol. The Senate also instituted other changes beginning in May, including meeting in larger rooms.

Trump is frequently seen without a mask and has mocked those who wear them, including Democratic rival Joe Biden.

In his remarks Thursday, McConnell also appeared to suggest that the White House is now “paying the price” for its approach to face masks.

“If any of you have been around me since May the 1st, I’ve said, ‘Wear your mask. Practice social distancing,’ ” McConnell said. “It’s the only way that we know of to prevent the spread until we get a vaccine. And we practice that in the Senate. Now, you’ve heard of other places that have had a different view, and they are, you know, paying the price for it.”

Two Republican senators — Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of

McConnell avoids visiting White House over its handling of coronavirus

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell drew a stark contrast Thursday between his handling of coronavirus in the Senate and the approach taken by the White House, which has experienced an outbreak among senior officials and the president.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell arrives to meet with reporters at the Capitol in Washington.


© J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell arrives to meet with reporters at the Capitol in Washington.

During an event in northern Kentucky, McConnell said that he had not gone to the White House in more than two months because of how it has addressed the coronavirus.

“I actually haven’t been to the White House since August the 6th because my impression was their approach to how to handle this was different than mine and what I insisted that we do in the Senate, which is to wear a mask and practice social distancing,” the Kentucky Republican said.

Video: Pelosi: U.S. Needs to Know When Trump Had Last Negative Test (Bloomberg)

Pelosi: U.S. Needs to Know When Trump Had Last Negative Test

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McConnell, 78, added that he continues to speak frequently with President Donald Trump by phone.

McConnell’s remarks come as the White House has become a hotbed recently for the virus. Trump was hospitalized over the weekend after he contracted the disease, and several of his top aides as well as White House staff members have been infected.

While McConnell, a polio survivor, did not rebuke the president directly, he has repeatedly called for wearing masks, both in floor speeches and at events. Meanwhile, the president for months refused to wear a face covering, and even mocked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden during the Sept. 29 debate for wearing the “biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”

The Senate is currently out of session, after three senators announced they tested positive for the virus over

Trump hospitalized while walking avoids damaging images, official tells NYT

A masked President Donald Trump walked across the White House lawn, gave a thumbs up to onlookers, and boarded a helicopter for Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday evening.

Earlier that day, Trump and First Lady Melania Trump had announced they tested positive for the coronavirus.

The president had also developed a fever, cough, congestion, and fatigue by the time he was admitted to the hospital, aides told The New York Times.

Trump will be staying at Walter Reed for “the next few days,” the White House said in a statement, adding that the decision came “out of an abundance of caution.”

But one unnamed administration official told the Times that it was better for Trump to leave while he could still walk to avoid the president being publicly assisted out of the White House if his condition turns severe.

If Trump gets better, the hospital stay will have ultimately been “inconsequential politically,” the Times’ Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman wrote.

Trump Walter Reed.JPG

President Donald Trump disembarks from the Marine One helicopter as he arrives at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Friday, October 2, 2020.

Joshua Roberts/Reuters


“I think I’m doing very well, but we’re going to make sure that things work out,” Trump said in a brief video message shared Friday before he was hospitalized.

Hospitalization could point to worsening symptoms

Trump is a 74-yeas-old obese male — all factors that substantially increase his likelihood of severe illness and death from the coronavirus. The early hospitalization could be a sign that his condition has already begun to deteriorate, experts said.

“It might mean he’s now sleepy or confused… or, more likely, short of breath, cough and/or low oxygen level, indicating lung involvement,” Bob Watcher, Chair of the Department of Medicine at University of California San Francisco, tweeted on Friday.