Mitch McConnell takes clear shot at Trump over White House coronavirus outbreak

Mitch McConnell told the White House on Thursday that the Trump team should step up its anti-Covid practices to protect staff and visitors. (POOL / AFP via Getty Images)
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shot Donald Trump and his White House somewhat infrequently on Thursday and said he hadn't been at the coronavirus hotspot since August because he was concerned about how the president and his team were doing dealt with the pandemic.
"I haven't been to the White House since August 6," the Kentucky Republican told reporters. "Because I got the impression that their approach to my approach was different from mine and what I suggested in the Senate, which is to wear a mask and practice social distancing."
White House aides mostly avoided masks for months and looked to their Covid-skeptical boss - although Mr Trump told journalist Bob Woodward in February that he knew the respiratory disease, which killed at least 212,000 Americans, was mostly in the air and transmitted more deadly than seasonal influenza.
Around three dozen White House staff have joined the president to test positive for the virus since an event held in the White House Rose Garden on Sept. 26, followed by a reception at the mansion, to judge Judge Amy Coney Barrett Third Supreme Court nominee for Mr. Trump.
In the spring, McConnell extended the Senate voting series to soften interactions between lawmakers and their staff and produce mixed results.
While Senators were forced to wear masks in the Senate, they continued to huddle during the polls to take part in the side discussions, which are frequent deals in Washington.
In May, the Senate GOP resumed its regular schedule of face-to-face lunches with all 53 members. They ate packed lunches - instead of helping themselves from the usual buffet - in a large auditorium in the Hart Senate Office Building instead of the much smaller room in the US Capitol that is often reserved for lunch.
The majority leader largely stood by Mr Trump's side and was an ally who defended some of his brash and controversial political moves, tweets, and even most of his most explosive rally comments.
But sometimes he was also willing to express his frustration over something Mr. Trump or his team did or said. Thursday's comment was a message calling on the Trump White House to change its practices to combat the airborne disease.
- Griffin Connolly contributed to this report.
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