Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday revealed that he stopped going to the White House two months ago because of how officials there are handling coronavirus safety protocols.
The top Republican in Congress, who regularly wears a mask in public, told reporters that while he speaks to President Trump on the phone “a lot,” he hasn’t visited the Executive Mansion since Aug. 6.
“Because my impression was their approach to how to handle this was different from mine and what I insisted we do in the Senate, which is to wear a mask and practice social distancing,” McConnell said at a campaign stop in Kentucky for his own reelection.
At a second stop in Kentucky, McConnell added he didn’t feel the White House was “approaching the protection from this illness in the same way that I thought was appropriate for the Senate.”
The remarks came as the White House is grappling with a coronavirus outbreak that has affected the president, first lady, top advisors and several staffers.
Many of those in and around the White House who tested positive for COVID-19 were at a Sept. 26 Rose Garden ceremony where Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee.
McConnell, who is 78 and endured polio as a child, was not at that event.
Trump, who returned to the executive residence Monday evening after a three-day hospital stay with the virus, appears to be doing “perfectly fine,” McConnell said.
“We talk a lot on the telephone. I think he’s perfectly fine. He seems normal,” McConnell said, adding that the conversations have focused on Coney Barrett’s Senate confirmation hearings, which begin Monday.
“We’re having numerous discussions on Judge Barrett and the way forward on that.”
With Post wires