According to Breitbart News, Vice Pres. Kamala Harris is forcing any senator, their family members, or visitor of a senator who wants to get a picture with her at theTuesday’s swearing-in event for the new Congress to provide a negative Covid-19 test in less than 24 hours of the photo.
On Thursday, the U.S. Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Protocols Office sent an email to all Senate offices informing them that Harris’ office is requiring coronavirus testing before taking pictures with the vice president.
“The Vice President’s office has asked that we distribute their regular COVID-19 protocol info to the offices that are participating in the reenactment event in the Old Senate Chamber. Please note their suggested procedure below,” said the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Procedure Office in an email acquired by Breitbart News. “We are looking forward to welcoming all the Senators and their families on Jan. 3rd for the reenactment event.”
The email sent a communication from Grisella Martinez, the Vice President’s Head of Legislative Affairs, in which the top Harris staffer explained the coronavirus testing criteria.
“We are excited to welcome your Senator to the formal reenactment for newly elected and re-elected Senators in the Old Senate Chamber on January 3, 2023,” Martinez wrote. “As you know, White House COVID-19 rules require that anybody above two years of age that will be interacting with the Vice President complete a medically-performed antigen test in less than 24 hours before interaction, and obtain a negative result. This rule applies to all individuals, regardless of immunization status.”
Martinez continued in her statement by saying that both new and returning Senators, spouses, “and other visitors that will engage in the formal swearing-in reenactment inside the Old Senate Chamber” may undergo a Covid-19 antigen test during the morning of January 3, 2023, in a U.S. Senate office, or “send the negative findings of a medically performed test by email to” a White House provided email address before 9 a.m that morning.
Senators are sworn in officially at the start of a new Congress, after which there is a separate traditional reenactment of the swearing-in in which senators take pictures with the Vice President of the United States, whose constitutional responsibilities include presiding over all the upper chamber of Congress. Senators’ families and friends, which includes their spouses, kids, and grandkids, frequently attend the ceremonies. Many senators have small kids and grandchildren, and numerous US Senate sources informed Breitbart News that these coronavirus testing demands on their young family members make them uncomfortable.
According to people acquainted with the situation, some of the Senators are supposedly so furious that they may skip the picture op with Harris and snub the vice president on the very first day of the new Congress.