Public health experts reacted with alarm after President Donald Trump held an indoor rally with thousands of maskless supporters at a packed arena in Nevada amid the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
But many Republicans on Capitol Hill had a different view.
“No, it doesn’t,” said Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, when asked if the rally troubled him at all.
After Trump urged his North Carolina supporters to go to the polls even after voting absentee, prompting concerns of people illegally voting twice and also crowding polling places amid the pandemic, Republicans shrugged it off.
“I’m fine with the fact that they check up on whether their vote counted,” said Sen. Richard Burr, the state’s senior Republican senator.
And after the President’s own admission to Bob Woodward that he played down the coronavirus to avoid a panic, even privately telling the veteran journalist that the virus is five times deadlier than the flu and then saying the opposite publicly, GOP senators in difficult reelection races had no qualms.
“No,” Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler said when asked if it’s a concern the President lied about the virus. “It’s fake news.”