GOP senator defends not wearing a mask at Rose Garden Supreme Court event

GOP Senator Marsha Blackburn, who attended the White House Rose Garden event two weekends ago and has now been involved in at least 14 coronavirus cases, defended her decision not to wear a mask at the event on Thursday.
During an appearance on ABC's The View, Blackburn, a Republican from Tennessee, said that while the event was a good reminder for Americans to take precautions, it was tested and behaved safely just before the event.
"I had been tested right before the event where I was wearing my mask and actually had it there on my arm when I entered the event," said Blackburn. "I took it off to go to the event, but you know it's a great reminder to wash your hands, wear gloves when necessary, and be sure to use disinfectant.
PHOTO: Senator Marsha Blackburn speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on September 30, 2020 (Stefani Reynolds / Getty Images, FILE).
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Blackburn, who said she has since had a negative coronavirus test, was at the White House during the event to witness Trump's announcement by his Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
Barrett's confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Blackburn is a member, are due to begin Monday.
PHOTO: President Donald Trump, center, stands with Judge Amy Coney Barrett as they arrive for a press conference to announce Barrett as his candidate for the Supreme Court in the White House Rose Garden on September 26, 2020 in Washington. (Alex Brandon / AP)
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She was an outspoken supporter of the GOP efforts to quickly occupy the space left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Blackburn tweeted and publicly said that she believes the Senate must do its constitutional duty to act swiftly and she stands behind President Donald Trump's election.
MORE: In the campaign, vulnerable GOP senators downplay a more conservative Supreme Court
But after positive coronavirus tests from two Republican senators on the committee who attended the Rose Garden event, Democrats who have consistently argued that the Senate should wait to confirm a new justice until after the next president is elected have also argued that the hearings are now a security risk.
Even so, Blackburn told The View that the committee "will begin these hearings" in the days ahead.
PHOTO: Judge Amy Coney Barrett is nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court by President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on Sept. 26, 2020. (Olivier Douliery / AFP via Getty Images)
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For Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, getting a candidate quickly through the Senate committee was a top priority.
The verification process established by McCsey and Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Justice Department, would allow Barrett's nomination to be voted on before election day. If this were confirmed, Barrett would have a Conservative majority in the Supreme Court.
Republicans, including Vice President Mike Pence during the Vice President Debate Wednesday night, warn that Biden and hopeful Senate Vice President Kamala Harris could bring in additional judges if Joe Biden wins the White House in November and the Democrats get a Senate majority in court.
PHOTO: Vice President Mike Pence looks at Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris as she answers a question during the Vice Presidential Debate on October 7, 2020 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. (Morry Gash / Pool via AP)
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Harris did not specifically answer questions about this during the debate, which Blackburn questioned.
"She didn't want to talk about court packaging," Blackburn told the program's hosts. "She chose to stab this, and that really came as a surprise to me. I thought she'd be more definitive on this; she's in the Senate Justice hearing."
MORE: 5 key takeaways from the Vice Presidential Debate
Blackburn applauded Pence for using the debate to "uncover some of the areas Senator Harris refused to go into". And she said she'd love to see Trump's debate Biden again, even after the president said Thursday morning he wouldn't be attending a second debate if it were held remotely.
"I would like to see the presidential debate again because he has a great track record to defend," said Blackburn.
Blackburn said a second debate would give the president more time to promote his record on economics, deregulation and security.
The GOP Senator is defending not wearing a mask at the Rose Garden Supreme Court event that originally appeared on abcnews.go.com
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