McCarthy says he disagrees with Pelosi, McConnell for rejecting administration’s testing offer

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox.  Sign up here

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Monday said he disagrees with Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to decline the Trump administration’s offer to provide rapid coronavirus testing to Congress.

“I do believe it would be critical to have the testing here because there will be a flare-up. Remember how many people from other parts of the country come to this location,” the California Republican told Politico Monday.

McCarthy sides with President Trump, who over the weekend offered three new rapid-testing machines, which could deliver COVID-19 results in five minutes, as the Senate returned to Washington Monday. After Pelosi and McConnell rejected his offer in order to save those tests for frontline workers, the commander in chief said they had “no reason to turn it down, except politics.”

“It is your Capitol. It is your government. You want to make sure the government doesn't collapse or not be able to meet,” McCarthy told Politico. “What does that say to the country? What does that say to the rest of the world? You want to make sure it’s functioning.”

TRUMP TAKES SWIPE AFTER PELOSI, MCCONNELL TURN DOWN CORONAVIRUS TESTING OFFER 

“I do not think it would be wrong to have one of the Abbott tests where you can have a quick response,” McCarthy continued. “Especially if there was some type of outbreak, you can quarantine those individuals, you can test the others, and you can have government keep working.”

The president sounded off about the bipartisan rejection of his offer again Monday, calling it “interesting” Congress does not want the rapid testing, even though “we have great testing capacity.”

Trump offered the rapid testing after Congress’ attending physician warned that while coronavirus tests would be available for staffers and lawmakers who are ill, there were not enough to test all 100 senators as the chamber comes back in session.

PELOSI, MCCONNELL DECLINE TESTING OFFER FROM TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

Dr. Brian Monahan had pointed out that there would not be sufficient capacity to quickly test senators for coronavirus, unlike the White House, where people meeting with Trump and Vice President Pence are tested for the disease.

McConnell and Pelosi issued a rare joint statement declining the White House offer until the technology is more "widely available" for others.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“Consistent with CDC guidelines, Congress will use the current testing protocols that the Office of the Attending Physician has put in place until these speedier technologies become more widely available," they said.

The Senate returned to the Capitol Monday for the first time since March 25, though in a reduced fashion. Senate leaders are expected to give remarks on the floor late Monday afternoon, but senators are expected to pop in, vote and leave to maintain social distancing. Much of their staff will continue to work remotely.

The House was originally set to return Monday, but the session was canceled on the advice of the attending physician.