All 100 Senators won’t be able to be screened for the coronavirus when they return to work on Monday — because there aren’t enough tests, according to multiple reports.
The Capitol’s attending physician, Dr. Brian Monahan, told Republican leaders in a call on Thursday that he only has the capacity to test Senators and staffers who are sick or showing symptoms of COVID-19, but not those who are asymptomatic, Politico reported.
He also said that he didn’t have access to the rapid 15-minute tests that the White House is using.
“My test result can take between two and seven business days to resolve,” he said on the call, according to Axios.
Roughly half of the Senators are 65 or older, placing them at higher risk for the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Senate will reconvene on Monday after more than a month away, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insisting it can operate safely amid the pandemic through social distancing and the use of face-coverings.
“We will modify routines in ways that are smart and safe, but we will honor our constitutional duty to the American people and conduct critical business in person,” he said.
The 435 members of the House were originally expected to return on May 4, but the Democratic leaders decided against it after consulting with Monahan.
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