Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is under fire after laughing about his failed response to the pandemic during a debate with his reelection opponent Amy McGrath.
As McGrath pointed out that McConnell sent the Senate to recess in the Spring rather than continue to work on addressing the pandemic, McConnell turned to the camera and openly laughed like some kind of Victorian mystery villain.
Mitch McConnell LAUGHS when called out for his lack of action on COVID. #KYSen "If you want to call yourself a le… https://t.co/JQ7fV6FPXp— Kelsie Taggart (@Kelsie Taggart) 1602545402.0
The recess McGrath referenced came in May, after a tidal wave of new pandemic-related unemployment claims had swept the nation. McGrath strongly criticized McConnell's judgment for the delay, as McConnell laughed dismissively.
"The House passed a bill in May and the Senate went on vacation. You just don't do that. You negotiate. Senator, it is a national crisis. You knew that the [virus] wasn't going to end in July. We knew this."
A $3 trillion bill for more pandemic relief had passed the Democrat-led House of Representatives at the time, but was pronounced "dead on arrival" by Republican lawmakers.
Senator McConnell and the Republican party dismissed the legislation without offering an alternative, blaming its demise on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. The Republicans estimated at the time that they'd have a bill ready no sooner than early July and then went on recess, a move decried even by Republicans like Colorado Senator Cory Gardner, who called the move "unfathomable."
McGrath, a former Marine fighter pilot, went on to cast McConnell as an ineffectual leader.
"If you want to call yourself a leader, you gotta get things done. And those of us who served in the Marines, we don't just point fingers at the other side, we get the job done..."
"...Sen. McConnell built a Senate that is so dysfunctional and so partisan that even in the middle of a national crisis he can't get it done. For that reason alone he should be voted out of office."
On Twitter, people were disgusted by McConnell's derisive arrogance about a national crisis that has resulted in 215,000 deaths and counting.
Laughing at 220,000 dead Americans. https://t.co/1TzsV0VKlh— billy eichner (@billy eichner) 1602551818.0
McConnell’s gleeful laugh when McGrath talks about his failures on COVID is...something https://t.co/axoFqqGG8D— Don Moynihan (@Don Moynihan) 1602548634.0
Wow ... how do Kentuckians keep re-electing someone who drips with so much contempt for them, for their lives and h… https://t.co/joeutV9pZf— Joy-Ann 😷Reid (@Joy-Ann 😷Reid) 1602551512.0
Hey Kentucky, your Senators should have a basic understanding of laughter at the very least. If a person laughs lik… https://t.co/HMOhM7AeNF— Josh Gad (@Josh Gad) 1602563132.0
I’m just going to leave this right here. #TheyKnew https://t.co/5GwAUgPKkM— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa Milano) 1602560215.0
ditch mitch #25thAmendmentNow #BidenHarris2020 #amymcgrath https://t.co/vwzE5Y2BD0— ROSIE (@ROSIE) 1602555038.0
If you thought women had a visceral hatred for Mike Pence last week... https://t.co/jcSAHOy0oI— Kathy Griffin (@Kathy Griffin) 1602563277.0
Kentucky deserves better than to have a condescending, power-hungry, compassionless, cold-hearted, elitist, hypocri… https://t.co/r1g8DOgZzM— Jemele Hill (@Jemele Hill) 1602566405.0
This is ... awkward. https://t.co/nQHoWfuHnH— Kevin M. Kruse (@Kevin M. Kruse) 1602550986.0
#MoscowMitch goes full supervillain here. @senatemajldr you will forever be remembered for this jowly chortle at t… https://t.co/MOMhBXeOCE— Danny Zuker (@Danny Zuker) 1602550651.0
Though it has been almost a month since any polling has been done in the Kentucky Senate race, McConnell held a seven-point lead over McGrath last month. However, that lead was roughly half of his polling lead the week prior, and the race is far closer than his last reelection race in 2014, in which he won his seat by a 16-point margin.