September 10, 2020 Blog, Press Release

What did Mitch Know and When Did he Know It? 5 Questions Mitch Needs to Answer Right Now.

As nearly 200,000 Americans and more than 1,000 Kentuckians have died due to COVID-19, new recorded interviews with President Donald Trump show that the federal government knew early on how serious the virus was but failed to take action.

In interviews released yesterday, Trump told journalist Bob Woodward that he knew the dangers of the virus, was aware it affected both older and younger people, was worse than the flu and that despite all of that knowledge, the president still downplayed the virus.

On Feb. 7, Trump admitted to Woodward that the virus was “deadly stuff” and on March 17 he admitted to intentionally downplaying it. Based on those dates, Trump’s words raise major questions for Mitch McConnell about what he knew about COVID-19 and why he did little to take control of the situation and prevent needless deaths.

Here are 5 Questions Mitch McConnell needs to answer:

  1. Did Mitch attend the COVID-19 briefings from the White House in late January and early February?
    According to Politico, the full Senate received briefings about COVID-19 from the Trump administration on Jan. 24 and Feb. 5. Trump admitted to Woodward on Feb. 7 that the virus was deadly.
  2. Was Mitch told that the virus was more deadly than any flu?
  3. Was Mitch made aware of the dangers for both young and older people? 
  4. Was Mitch made aware COVID-19 was airborne and that the nation needed to quickly ramp up PPE production?
  5. Why did Mitch wait so long to speak up about the seriousness of COVID-19 as leader of the Senate?

    On Feb. 25, fellow U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal called an outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S. “virtually inevitable” and there would be an “outcry” if the American people knew what senators were briefed on that day.

Despite the briefings in January and February about COVID-19, Mitch did not address the pandemic on the Senate floor until Feb 27, 2020, and he left D.C. at least twice before passing any relief legislation almost a month later. On Feb. 17 he attended an Asian carp roundup. On March 13 he attended an investiture ceremony where he rubbed elbows with friends and donors.

In a statement, Kentucky Democratic Party spokesperson Marisa McNee said McConnell needs to come clean about what he knew and when he knew it.

“Mitch owes Kentuckians an explanation, plain and simple. The more than 1,000 Kentucky families who have lost loved ones need to hear from Mitch McConnell directly about what he knew, when he knew and why didn’t he do more to keep Kentucky safe.”