OPINION | This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


McConnell Vows ‘Full Steam Ahead’ On Barrett After Coronavirus Rise

Senate Republicans insisted Friday they have no plans to delay Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the chamber intends to move “full steam ahead” on Barrett’s nomination.

And the Judiciary Committee will proceed with hearings later this month, according to a GOP aide, though some portions of it may be conducted remotely.

But hours after President Donald Trump announced he had contracted the virus, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said he had tested positive, too.

The Utah Republican is a critical member of the Judiciary panel and attended Barrett’s announcement on Saturday at the White House.

He also met with Barrett on Tuesday and attended committee meetings and party lunches later in the week where he may have infected other senators.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham is scheduled to begin hearings for Barrett on Oct. 12, and is planning to hold a committee vote on the nomination on Oct. 22.

In his statement, Lee said he planned to quarantine for 10 days and expected to be able to provide support for Barrett in the committee.

“I have spoken with Leader McConnell and Chairman Graham, and assured them I will be back to work in time to join my Judiciary Committee colleagues in advancing the Supreme Court nomination,” Lee said.

Republican senators are eager to hold a confirmation vote on the floor before the Nov. 3 election, despite outrage from Democrats who say the winner of the upcoming election should fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced that they both have tested positive for COVID-19 and will quarantine at the White House.

Early on Friday morning, Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence tested negative for the coronavirus.

Late on Thursday, the president, first lady, and White House aide Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden has tested negative for COVID-19.

“I’m happy to report that Jill and I have tested negative for COVID. Thank you to everyone for your messages of concern. I hope this serves as a reminder: wear a mask, keep social distance, and wash your hands,” Biden said.

The former vice president and wife Jill Biden were tested for Covid-19 in the wake of Trump’s announcement that he and the First Lady tested positive.

Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett has tested negative for coronavirus.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said Barrett tested negative for COVID-19 Friday morning and has not been in the presence of the President since Saturday’s ceremony.