President Trump lambasted Congress after congressional leaders rebuffed his offer to provide coronavirus tests so they could return to Capitol Hill.
“Interesting? By Congress not wanting the special 5 minute testing apparatus, they are saying that they are not ‘essential,’” he said in a Twitter post Monday. “In any event, we have great testing capacity, and have performed 6.5 million tests, which is more than every country in the world, combined!”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell turned down the Trump administration’s plan to make three rapid-result testing machines available to the lawmakers.
“Congress is grateful for the Administration’s generous offer,” McConnell, Republican, and Pelosi, a Democrat, wrote in a joint letter Saturday. “Congress wants to keep directing resources to the front-line facilities where they can do the most good the most quickly.”
The two leaders said that Congress would rely on testing guidelines outlined by the Office of the Attending Physician until “these speedier technologies become more widely available.”
Dr. Brian Monahan, the congressional physician, told the leaders last week that the testing capability is insufficient to test the 100 senators and staffers who are planning to return to the chamber on Monday.
The White House, in contrast, has been giving rapid tests to people who come in contact with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
The House delayed its return until next week.
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