House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said on Monday that he disagreed with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) decision to turn down the Abbott COVID-19 tests that President Donald Trump had offered to Congress.
“I do disagree about the testing,” McCarthy said during an interview with Politico. “Let’s be realistic about this … as we open up, we cannot assume there will not be a flare-up somewhere.”
“I want to be prepared for that,” he continued.
The GOP House leader argued that it was a matter of not allowing the government to “collapse” as members of Congress are kept from convening.
“What does that say to the country? What does that say to the rest of the world?” McCarthy said. “You want to make sure it’s functioning.”
“So I do not think it would be wrong to have one of the Abbott tests where you can have a quick response,” he told Politico.
McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issued a joint statement on Saturday saying they “respectfully decline” the administration’s offer to send Abbott tests, which present results within minutes.
“Our country’s testing capacities are continuing to scale up nationwide and Congress wants to keep directing resources to the front-line facilities where they can do the most good the most quickly,” the congressional leaders said.
Trump didn’t take the rejection too kindly, tweeting later on Saturday that there was “no reason” not to accept his offer “except politics” even though McConnell and Pelosi’s decision was clearly bipartisan in nature.
He posted another sour tweet about the matter on Monday.
“Interesting? By Congress not wanting the special 5 minute testing apparatus, they are saying that they are not ‘essential,'” he wrote. “In any event, we have great testing capacity, and have performed 6.5 million tests, which is more than every country in the world, combined!”