Hours after President Donald Trump tested positive for the coronavirus and shortly before Sen. Mike Lee announced his Covid-19 diagnosis, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made clear Friday that a potentially large outbreak in the White House and on Capitol Hill will not stop him from plowing ahead with his attempt to get right-wing Judge Amy Coney Barrett confirmed to the Supreme Court.\u0022Just finished a great phone call with POTUS,\u0022 tweeted the Kentucky Republican. \u0022He\u0026#039;s in good spirits and we talked business—especially how impressed senators are with the qualifications of Judge Barrett. Full steam ahead with the fair, thorough, timely process that the nominee, the court, and the country deserve.\u0022\u0022McConnell declaring \u0026#039;full steam ahead\u0026#039; without knowing the scope of the risk to those involved, including the nominee herself, is not just reckless and heartless, it has a slight undertone of panic.\u0022 —Adam Jentleson, Democracy ForwardAdam Jentleson, public affairs director at Democracy Forward and a former Senate staffer, said McConnell\u0026#039;s comments show he is \u0022literally willing to put lives at risk to fill RBG\u0026#039;s seat\u0022 ahead of the November election, which is just a month away.\u0022McConnell declaring \u0026#039;full steam ahead\u0026#039; without knowing the scope of the risk to those involved, including the nominee herself, is not just reckless and heartless, it has a slight undertone of panic,\u0022 Jentleson added. \u0022He is rushing to assert that everything is fine without knowing whether it is.\u0022Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, echoed McConnell in a CNN interview Friday morning after speaking to the president, who is reportedly experiencing \u0022mild\u0022 coronavirus symptoms.\u0022First thing he asked me about was the hearing,\u0022 Graham said. \u0022He asked me about the hearings, I said, \u0026#039;We\u0026#039;re on track, we\u0026#039;re in a good spot. She\u0026#039;s going to get confirmed.\u0026#039; He was in a good mood, very focused on getting Amy Barrett through the Senate.\u0022Amy Coney Barrett met with the president recently. The photo released showed that they were not wearing masks. Those in contact with people who tested positive for coronavirus are meant to quarantine for 14 days. Scheduling a hearing for 10 days from now is reckless and stupid. https://t.co/ntvx1uAWCg— Miranda Yaver (@mirandayaver) October 2, 2020After Graham reaffirmed his commitment to beginning Barrett\u0026#039;s Judiciary Committee hearings on October 12, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)—the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee—said in a statement that Senate Republicans\u0026#039; rush to start the confirmation process in just ten days \u0022when we do not know the full extent of potential exposure stemming from the president\u0026#039;s infection\u0022 risks turning an \u0022already illegitimate process\u0022 into \u0022a dangerous one.\u0022On Friday, as Common Dreams reported, Barrett tested negative for the coronavirus three days after meeting with Lee—a member of the Judiciary Committee—at the U.S. Capitol. The two met indoors and neither wore face coverings nor adhered to social distancing guidelines.\u0022The unfortunate news about the infection of our colleague Senator Mike Lee makes even more clear that health and safety must guide the schedule for all Senate activities, including hearings,\u0022 Schumer and Feinstein said. \u0022There is bipartisan agreement that a virtual confirmation hearing for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench is not an acceptable substitute.\u0022\u0022It\u0026#039;s critical that Chairman Graham put the health of senators, the nominee, and staff first—and ensure a full and fair hearing that is not rushed, not truncated, and not virtual,\u0022 added the Democratic senators, who are facing pressure from progressive advocacy groups to do everything in their power to slow or stop Barrett\u0026#039;s confirmation, which could imperil reproductive rights and healthcare coverage for millions.