GOVERNMENT

Opinion: Congress needs to hang tough during global coronavirus outbreak

Mar 10, 2020, 7:48 PM | Updated: Mar 12, 2020, 9:16 am
Senators congress coronavirus...
Five Republican members of Congress as of Tuesday said they will self-quarantine after interacting with an individual who tested positive for the coronavirus at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — The list is growing of those in Congress who are now in self-quarantine amid the coronavirus epidemic.

Five Republicans — Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona — all came in contact last week with a person at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) who had tested positive for the illness.

Gaetz wore a gas mask onto the House floor last week while lawmakers voted to approve emergency funding to fight the coronavirus.

All five Republicans said they showed no symptoms of coronavirus and that they would remain in self-quarantine at home “out of an abundance of caution.”

Democratic Rep. Julia Brownley of California said she was notified that she had come in contact with someone in Washington, D.C., who had tested positive for coronavirus and that she would close her office in the city.

What’s the better way for members of Congress and their staff to respond to the coronavirus illness?

  1. Continue with business as usual. Medical experts are cautioning people from traveling or meeting in groups as that can spread transmission of the coronavirus. But the life of a lawmaker is just that, traveling and meeting in groups.
  2.  Shut Congress down. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could cancel all votes and send all their members home and ask staffers to work remotely. Even tours of the White House and halls of Congress would be canceled.

Late Tuesday, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler suggested in a closed-door meeting that his colleagues should leave Washington and return home during the outbreak.

Pelosi instantly shut him down, saying, “We are the captains of the ship. We are the last to leave,” she told the meeting.

I don’t wish to expose anyone to danger, but I have to agree with Nancy Pelosi.

Congress needs to hang tough and do its job.

Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.

Today’s Top Stories

Government

Utah Republicans are looking to ban transgender surgeries and other hormone-based care....
Mark Jones

Utah to receive additional $4.9 million from FEMA in response to COVID-19

FEMA has announced Utah will receive an additional $4.9 million to help with the housing costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
3 days ago
...
Curt Gresseth

Former U.S. Attorney for Utah talks about what FBI can take off your cellphone

A legal expert joined Dave and Dujanovic to discuss how the FBI can obtain evidence of a crime from a cellphone.
3 days ago
mini-bottles Utah liquor store...
Elizabeth Weiler

“Mini-bottles” could return to Utah state liquor stores

Mini-bottles haven't been on Utah state liquor store shelves for more than two decades. A public hearing will be held on the proposal.
3 days ago
The Biden administration is preparing for the possibility of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, left, and Flor...
MJ Lee, CNN White House correspondent

Biden administration prepares for Abbott and DeSantis to send more migrants to Democratic cities

The Biden administration is readying for more migrants to be sent to Democratic cities.
3 days ago
Gov. Cox mental health...
Mark Jones

Utah National Guard to host 67th annual Governor’s Day

The 67th annual Governor's Day will be held Saturday by the Utah National Guard at Camp Williams.
4 days ago
design...
Samantha Herrera

Semifinalists for the new Utah flag design unveiled

The finalists for the new Utah state flag are on display at the Utah State Capitol, as well as in Logan and Cedar City through Oct. 5.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Opinion: Congress needs to hang tough during global coronavirus outbreak