(CNS News) – Democratic vice presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris (Calif.) was seen getting into an elevator with six other people in the Hart Senate building on Tuesday night, while her office maintained that the senator was unwilling to attend the Supreme Court-nomination hearings in person because of the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
A video surfaced on Twitter Tuesday night of Harris stepping into a crowded elevator while answering questions about Joe Biden’s stance on court-packing.
NEW TONIGHT: On if she agrees w/ @JoeBiden saying he’s “not a fan” of court-packing @KamalaHarris says:— Kelly Phares (@kellyfphares) October 13, 2020
“VP Biden has been very clear with the American people where he stands. The bottom line is there are, what, 21 days now from an election and that’s where we’re focused.” pic.twitter.com/mXPwCE7NWp
Six other people can be seen in the tightly packed elevator; all are wearing face masks. The elevator is located in the Hart Senate building, where Harris’ office is located on the first floor. Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s hearings were taking place on the second floor of the Dirksen Building, which is attached to the Hart building.
Harris has chosen to attend the hearings virtually, from her office, roughly one floor away from the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room.
“Due to Judiciary Committee Republicans’ refusal to take common sense steps to protect members, aides, Capitol complex workers, and members of the media, Senator Harris plans to participate in this week’s hearings remotely from her Senate office in the Hart building,” said a spokesperson for Harris.
The Hill reported that Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said, "We're setting the hearing room up based on CDC guidelines. I just got a statement today from the Architect of the Capitol, who consulted with the House physician, saying that the room is set up in a compliant way."
The Hill also reported that, “The Judiciary Committee has put social distancing measures in place, including spreading out senators and limiting staff and press in the room.”
According to the COVID safety standards implemented by the Capitol Hill attending physician Brian Monahan, offices must “limit aggregation of people and avoid crowding closer than 6-foot separation.”