The fate of the Senate lies in the hands of Georgia, where two runoff elections will decide whether Republicans maintain their Senate majority or if Democrats will reclaim it for the first time in over a decade. And what better way for Senate Republicans to insist that they’re the party best able to lead the country forward than by hosting a rally in a windowless room as covid-19 rates spike?
While his state was getting hit by a category 1 hurricane and widespread flooding, Florida Senator Marco Rubio held a “Save Our Majority” rally in Marietta, Georgia on Wednesday in support of Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. While Loeffler was in attendance, it is unclear whether Perdue was there, although his wife, Bonnie Perdue, showed up. At least she was there to risk her health as a loyal campaign surrogate. But if there’s one surefire way to lose a Senate race, it’s dying before the election.
The rally attracted a sizable crowd, enough to leave hopeful attendees unable to enter. (They congregated in a strip mall parking lot instead.) CNN reporter Kyung Lah noted that it appeared that nearly half of the room was maskless. This as Georgia’s covid-19 infection rate continues to skyrocket. The Trump administration’s coronavirus taskforce even moved the state into the covid-19 “red zone,” where it has the unfortunate company of 41 other states that have seen cases, hospitalizations, and deaths increase.
Lah later tweeted that she and the rest of CNN’s crew eventually left the indoor rally, citing safety concerns.
In lieu of actual safety precautions, there was a bit of covid-19 theater: Temperatures were taken at the door. This has long been derided as a foolish way to monitor covid-19 carriers, but Republican party officials have paid little mind to the science before, so why start now?
Loeffler will go head to head with Rev. Raphael Warnock while Perdue will compete with Jon Ossoff. Despite President-Elect Joe Biden’s apparent Georgia win in the presidential race, Democrats Warnock and Ossoff have their work cut out for them. But you wouldn’t know it from this little Marietta affair, where a few sad streamers and a limp Grand Old Party flag hung from the rafters while Statue of Liberty artwork better suited for an ancient Lower Manhattan pizza joint flanked one of the room’s walls.
Can’t Loeffler, the richest member of Congress, at least splurge on better decor?