Initial plans held that the House of Representatives would reconvene next week after a recess for social distancing purposes. Democratic leaders announced the reversal of plans on Tuesday, after the return was initially announced on Monday.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made the decision to keep the chamber on an extended recess after discussing the situation with the official House physician and members.
Hoyer told reporters: “The numbers (of coronavirus cases) in the District of Columbia are still going up.
“The House physician’s view was that there was a risk to members that was one he would not recommend taking.”
The Republican-run Senate will return to session next week, contrary to the Democrat’s House.
President Donald Trump has accused the Democrats of not wanting to work during the pandemic.
He told reporters at the White House press briefing: “They’re enjoying their vacation.
“You look at Nancy Pelosi eating ice cream on late-night television.”
Pelosi retorted sarcastically in a television interview, showing off a freezer full of ice cream, adding that the President was in denial about the dangers of the pandemic.
Pelosi told MSNBC: “This president has presided over the worst disaster in our country’s history, an assault on the lives and the livelihoods of the American people, and he did so by neglect of information, also denial and delay in accepting the facts.
“I have ice cream in my freezer; I guess that’s better than having Lysol in somebody’s lungs.”
President Trump has been under fire for bizarrely suggesting that “injecting” disinfectant could help fight coronavirus patients.
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Congress has not met in regular session since last month, though it has passed major coronavirus relief bills worth nearly $3 trillion by using rules allowing bills to pass with a small number of lawmakers present.
Last week the full House met one day to approve the most recent, $484 billion coronavirus package.
Hoyer said the House intends to return to Washington soon to complete a new coronavirus response bill that Democrats have vowed to use as a vehicle for funnelling hundreds of billions of dollars in assistance to state and local governments.
He said he hoped House committees would be able to work remotely while the chamber is out.
The United States has the highest amount of cases worldwide, with 1,035,454.
The death is steadily rising, with the reported total at 59,252 and the daily toll for Tuesday being 2,456.
New York remains the epicentre of the country’s pandemic, with 301,450 confirmed cases.
The state has also seen the highest deaths in the country, with 23,144.
These statistics are accurate as of midnight Wednesday, April 29.
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