Kamala Harris says holding Barrett hearings will put lives at risk due to COVID-19

The candidate for vice president will take part in the hearings virtually.

Updated: October 11, 2020 - 5:10pm

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Joe Biden's running mate Sen. Kamala Harris on Sunday blasted the Senate GOP over plans to hold hearings this week on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, arguing that doing so will put people's lives at risk. 

"By moving forward with Supreme Court confirmation hearings tomorrow—less than 2 weeks after members tested positive—Chairman Graham and Senate Republicans are endangering the lives of not just members and our staff, but the hardworking people who keep the Senate complex running," Harris tweeted.

Committee members Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina both announced Oct. 2 that they had tested positive for COVID-19. Politico said that Tillis is expected to appear in person on Tuesday, but described Lee as undecided.

A spokesperson for Harris said that she will attend the hearings remotely from her Senate office, according to reports. 

"Due to Judiciary Committee Republicans’ refusal to take common sense steps to protect members, aides, Capitol complex workers, and members of the media, Senator Harris plans to participate in this week’s hearings remotely from her Senate office in the Hart building,” a Harris spokesperson said in a statement on Sunday according to Politico.

Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham during an interview on the Fox News show Sunday Morning Futures noted that the Architect of the Capitol and "the physician for the House and the Senate" had set up the room where the hearing will take place to ensure compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He also noted that members may participate remotely if they wish to do so.

If confirmed to the Supreme Court, Barrett will become the third Trump-appointed nominee on the nation's high court, joining Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.