“When a virus starts in a country that is refusing to share information, it sets you back,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) says in a trailer for the series, referring to China.
Several Republicans, including Sens. John Barrasso (Wyo.), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), also say Democrats were obsessed with impeachment in the early months of the pandemic, and Ted Cruz accuses them of being “much more focused on attacking the president” than tackling the coronavirus pandemic.
“Senate Republicans are committed to beating this virus and are racing towards a vaccine,” Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., a medical doctor and chairman of the Senate Republican Conference said in a statement to Fox News. “This documentary is a behind the scenes look at how Republican senators are working to beat it. We want to inform folks at home and encourage them. America will get through this, together.”
Lawmakers in the series will also praise President Trump’s response to the pandemic, noting that he closed most travel from China and that many businesses were shut down, though those efforts were spearheaded by state governments.
“For the first time in the history of the country, we had a government that shut down the economy,” says Sen. Pat Toomey (Pa.).
The series will be dropped on Oct. 28 and titled “The Invisible Enemy”.
Pelosi and House Democrats have passed two major coronavirus relief bills — one $3 trillion bill in May and another $2.2 trillion package in October — and they’ve been pressuring Senate Republicans to act for months. But the Senate has been unable to pass any additional bills as debt-conscious Republicans are leery of another round of major spending and Democrats believe the crisis necessitates a big response.
The film offers behind-the-scenes interviews with senators who were instrumental in drafting the CARES Act, the more than $2 trillion stimulus package that was signed into law in March that set up $1,200 stimulus checks, expanded $600 federal unemployment insurance and the $670 billion Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses.
Trump has come under criticism from Democrats over the spread of COVID-19 across the country, with lawmakers saying the White House did not take serious enough action early on to blunt the virus’s spread.
“Learning to live with it?” Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said at Thursday’s debate after Trump said people were adjusting to life with the pandemic. “People are learning to die with it.”
The “Invisible Enemy” series features sit-down interviews with Barrasso and Cruz as well as Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Shelley Moore-Capito from West Virginia, Marco Rubio of Florida, James Risch of Idaho and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.