Considering that Cornyn has been relatively mum on Trump until now, his remarks suggest that clinging to Trump is now bad politics in Texas, of all places. Cornyn’s Democratic opponent, MJ Hegar, should press Cornyn further: Why then is the Senate pushing forward with confirmation hearings that will endanger others? Why did you wait until 209,000 Americans had died to say something? Are you suggesting that Trump is unfit to serve and has been lying to us?
Indeed, every Republican senator on the ballot (e.g., Lindsey O. Graham of South Carolina, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Steve Daines of Montana, Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Thom Tillis of North Carolina) needs to be held accountable for their unwavering defense of Trump and for their complicity in Trump’s failure to recognize that asymptomatic people — even those who test negative — can spread the virus. If senators were under the same misconception, then they have not been listening to experts and have been grossly negligent; if they did grasp this, they have put Americans at risk by remaining quiet as Trump flouted basic health and safety guidelines.
Republican senators need to answer a bunch of questions:
- Do they approve of the president leaving Walter Reed and returning to the White House when he could infect others? Do they approve of his message that covid-19 is no big deal?
- Did they publicly or privately object to Trump’s unmasked rallies?
- Did they object to the White House’s covid-19 protocols, which have resulted in a proliferation of infections?
- Why did they not immediately castigate Trump’s aversion to wearing a mask?
- Do they approve of the president’s conduct in putting Secret Service agents at risk by ordering a campaign publicity stunt in which he was driven around Walter Reed hospital to greet supporters?
- Why has the Senate not insisted on testing and not made masks mandatory?
- If you have attended Republican Senate lunches with members who later tested positive, did you self-isolate? Did you alert others with whom you have come in close contact?
- Why did you not object when Trump began heckling governors to reopen their economies earlier when the virus was not under control?
Virtually all Republican senators, either overtly or by their silence, have enabled Trump’s reckless conduct. They must explain their actions and be held accountable for their personal behavior. Morally, they are no better than Trump if they chose not to restrain dangerous conduct or to warn others. As such, they deserve to be booted out of office.