Here’s a Pretty Mess: Alexandra Petri Explains It All

Big Success

The Senate is reconvening, without the ability to test senators for covid-19, creating a big risk the pandemic will spread among the Greatest Deliberative Body in the World. Alexandra Petri explains:

One of the great unfairnesses of this virus is that it has laid bare preexisting inequalities in our society. Some people — people with power and access — can readily obtain tests. Others are forced to wait until they seem sick. The Senate, a largely decorative body that once possessed a sort of theoretical oversight of the executive branch (subsequently abdicated) and now serves mainly to rubber-stamp underqualified judges, is not first on the priority list for access to tests, unlike pro athletes, Tom Hanks and people who are about to stand kind of near to President Trump a single time. …

Is the Senate convening because it has important work to do to help the country respond to the virus?

No. No official pandemic-related business is scheduled. In fact, as Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) vowed, any extension of the weekly additional $600 in coronavirus unemployment benefits would be passed only “over our dead bodies.” (This is, indeed, just how any extension to the unemployment benefits would pass, given that America has crossed the threshold of 60,000 deaths today.) Jared Kushner has called this outcome “a great success story,” which I guess it is, from the perspective of the virus.