Coronavirus has shuttered several doors throughout the country, and now it's the same story in our nation's capital. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced in a statement Thursday morning that all public tours of the Capitol will be suspended until April 1.
“This morning, the Senate and House Sergeants at Arms announced the suspension of public tours and non-official access to the Capitol complex, beginning at the close of business today and running through the end of March.
“Their decision was made in close consultation with the Attending Physician of the United States Congress, Dr. Brian Monahan.
“I fully support the decision of these nonpartisan officers.
“It follows new guidance from the Washington D.C. Department of Health encouraging that all non-essential mass gatherings of more than 1,000 people be postponed. The Capitol complex welcomes many times that many visitors on a typical day, particularly at this time of year.
“Congress will continue to do our work. Offices will be able to welcome constituents and visitors for meetings and official business by appointment. But in deference to the experts, and to protect the health of the many Americans who travel to our nation’s capital, tourism and non-official access to the Capitol and the complex will be put on pause.
“This virus is challenging our nation in ways that feel unfamiliar to us. But our great country is strong, we are equipped, and we have overcome far greater challenges before.
“I know the entire Congress will look forward to welcoming all Americans back to visit their beautiful Capitol as soon as possible.
“In the meantime, we continue to encourage everyone to follow the facts, listen to the experts, and take smart and calm precautions as appropriate. Every American can access up-to-date recommendations for their own personal circumstances at www.Coronavirus.gov.”
Congress is currently debating a new emergency coronavirus bill that would provide relief to Americans who have been financially impacted by the outbreak. GOP leadership and the White House are opposed to the measure, which was introduced by Speaker Pelosi late Wednesday night, because it offers no sunset provisions.
President Trump provided an update on the administration's efforts to combat the virus from the Oval Office on Wednesday night. For starters, the U.S. will be banning most travel from Europe starting Friday at midnight.