Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) ripped into the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and other Republicans during the first day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, accusing them of putting political expedience ahead of public health for holding the hearings rather than address much-needed financial relief to deal with the economic crisis brought about by the pandemic.

Harris began by noting the fact that holding an in-person hearing (which she chose to attend virtually) was dangerous within itself, especially since several people who were present for a Rose Garden ceremony where President Donald Trump announced Barrett’s nomination have tested positive for COVID-19:

“This hearing has brought together more than 50 people to sit inside of a closed-door room for hours while our nation is facing a deadly airborne virus. This committee has ignored common sense requests to keep people safe including not requiring testing for all members, despite a coronavirus outbreak among senators of this very committee. By contrast, in response to this recent Senate outbreak, the leaders of Senate Republicans, rightly, postponed business on the Senate floor this week to protect the health and safety of senators and staff.”

Then the Democratic vice presidential nominee took aim at Graham:

“Mr. Chairman, for the same reasons this hearing should have been postponed. The decision to hold this hearing now is reckless and places facilities’ workers, janitorial staff, congressional aides and Capitol Police at risk, not to mention while tens of millions of Americans are struggling to pay their bills, the Senate should be prioritizing coronavirus relief and providing financial support to those families. The American people need to have help, to make rent or their mortgage payment.”

Harris ended her opening remarks by remarking that Republicans are out of touch with what Americans want most: A solution to the virus that is killing thousands of people each and every day:

“Senate Republicans have made it crystal clear that rushing a Supreme Court nomination is more important than helping and supporting the American people who are suffering from a deadly pandemic and a devastating economic crisis. Their priorities are not the American people’s priorities, but for the moment, Senate Republicans hold the majority in the Senate and determine the schedule, so here we are.”

COVID is the very reason Trump and Republicans are on the verge of losing the 2020 election. Their lack of any solution or plan to borders on criminal negligence. They deserve to lose as partial payback for the 215,000 Americans who have already died as a result of the GOP’s ineptitude.

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