While COVID-positive GOP senator attends Supreme Court hearing, Fox News targets Sen. Kamala Harris for appearing remotely

Fox News made an issue Monday morning of the decision by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), the Democratic nominee for vice president, to appear remotely at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. At least one Republican senator present in the hearing room, Mike Lee of Utah, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Instead of giving information on whether he has tested negative for the coronavirus to justify his physical attendance, Lee has provided a letter from his doctor. But the letter is based only on Lee’s self-reported resolution of symptoms, and even then he apparently is still suffering from some fatigue.

In addition, the committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) publicly refused to take a coronavirus test this past Friday, resulting in a scheduled debate between himself and Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison being reformatted into two separate back-to-back interviews.

In televised commentary during a committee recess in the early afternoon, Fox anchor Sandra Smith noted Lee’s appearance, saying he “made news appearing in person just 10 days after his positive coronavirus test — he said he’s feeling better.” Smith also noted Harris’ plans to appear remotely from her Senate office.

Fox “straight news” anchor Martha MacCallum then made an issue of how close Harris’ office is to the committee room.

“I believe that Sen. Harris’ office is not far away at all. It's on the first floor of the Hart Building,” said MacCallum. “But she nonetheless will be appearing from her Senate office, rather than walking down to this hearing room 219 in the Senate Hart Office Building.”

Video file

Citation From the October 12, 2020, edition of Fox News’ Barrett Confirmation Hearings

Harris plan to appear remotely was also mentioned multiple times throughout the morning on Fox & Friends, as in this example:

Video file

Citation From the October 12, 2020, edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends

It is widely acknowledged that the White House event on September 26 to announce the Barrett nomination was a superspreader event for the coronavirus. Multiple attendees at the event have since tested positive, including Sens. Lee and Thom Tillis (R-NC), President Donald Trump, and first lady Melania Trump.