Critics lambasted Senate Republicans on Wednesday after Sen. Lamar Alexander blocked a vote on an emergency paid sick leave bill hours after the World Health Organization officially declared the global coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) moved to speed the proposal through the legislative process so senators could quickly vote to guarantee all American workers 14 days of paid sick leave in the event of a public health emergency.\u0022For many of our workers―restaurant workers, truck drivers, service industry workers―they may not have an option to take a day off without losing their pay or losing their job,\u0022 Murray said. \u0022That\u0026#039;s not a choice we should be asking anyone to make in the United States in the 21st century.\u0022Claiming the bill would be an \u0022expensive\u0022 and burdensome mandate for employers, Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, blocked the Senate from voting on the bill, saying it must be voted on first by the GOP-controlled Health Committee.\u0022This is unconscionable. Every last one of them should lose their jobs,\u0022 said Alex Wall of CAP Action, of the Republican senators.In the middle of a GLOBAL PANDEMIC, Senate Republicans just blocked emergency paid sick leave.Yes, you read that right. This is unconscionable. Every last one of them should lose their jobs. https://t.co/fDwXGoCW7x— Alex Wall (@AlexBWall) March 11, 2020Murray, who sponsored the Senate bill, had argued that \u0022may not have an option to take a day off without losing their pay or losing their job\u0022 if they become ill or if their children\u0026#039;s schools close as a precautionary measure.\u0022That\u0026#039;s not a choice we should be asking anyone to make in the United States in the 21st century,\u0022 she said.As Common Dreams reported Wednesday, public health experts are urging workplaces to adopt flexible sick leave policies in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 1,100 people in the U.S. so far. Allowing sick people to stay quarantined for at least 14 days could keep the American health system from becoming overloaded, they say.The Democrats\u0026#039; plan fell far short of sick leave policies in many other industrialized nations. In the U.S., more than a quarter of workers aren\u0026#039;t granted any paid sick leave from their employers.Journalist David Dayen echoed Wall\u0026#039;s sentiment that Senate Republicans must face consequences for blocking the bill.\u0022This is really bad, but also the ads write themselves, so perhaps not the end of the story,\u0022 he tweeted. Jacobin columnist Abi Wilkinson wrote on social media that senators, many of whom are old enough to be vulnerable to the coronavirus, are accustomed to being \u0022cushioned from the impact of their decisions\u0022 and have likely not considered that they may interact with service industry workers who will be forced to work even when sick.Presumably the median age of GOP Senators is fairly high too, do they realise this means the people who serve their coffee and clean their bathrooms are going to have to come in sick?— Abi Wilkinson (@AbiWilks) March 11, 2020Statistically, there probably are going to be politicians that die from this illness. That’s not a wild suggestion. Are they just so used to being cushioned from the impact of their decisions?— Abi Wilkinson (@AbiWilks) March 11, 2020\u0022A bunch of septuagenarians with cadillac health care plans just told the working class to keep toiling through a pandemic even if it kills them,\u0022 writer Brian Merchant added.