Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) reportedly told his colleagues in a closed-door meeting on Tuesday that they should leave Washington as soon as possible. Over 750 coronavirus cases have now been reported in the U.S., with 27 deaths. A few recent cases were confirmed in the nation's capital.
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected Nadler's notion when confronted by the press on Capitol Hill.
"No, no, no, no! Do you understand no?" she responded to the gaggle of reporters who peppered her with the same question about closing the Capitol.
"We are the captains of the ship," she reportedly told her colleagues in the closed-door session. "We are the last to leave.”
Another reporter caught up with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about whether he's worried about the wellbeing of the more elderly members of Congress. As The Hill notes, two-thirds of the Senate is older than 60 and the average House member is 57.6 years old. The CDC has warned anyone over 60 to try and avoid large crowds, because they are more susceptible to the virus.
McConnell on if the Senate should be mindful of older senators and heath amid the coronavirus threat:— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) March 10, 2020
If we have anything to add on that, we’ll let you know
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was also asked whether the Senate will need to change its schedule, but he said that decision is up to Capitol Attending Physician Dr. Monahan.
Sen. Schumer and the Democrats aren't helping matters by telling the press how worried they are that the president's "incompetence and lack of focus" is jeopardizing the government's ability to address the outbreak. Yet, President Trump and his coronavirus task force, including leader Vice President Mike Pence, have been transparent and updating Americans on their efforts to combat the disease. As Pence explained on Tuesday, several health insurance companies have agreed to waive co-pays for coronavirus testing, and Medicare and Medicaid are covering telemedicine to protect seniors.
"All of the insurance companies here ... have agreed to waive all co-pays on Coronavirus testing and extend coverage for Coronavirus treatment in all of their benefit plans." pic.twitter.com/Lmq30IohGD— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 10, 2020
President Trump added that his administration is working closely with both the cruise and airline industries.