Montana’s senior Senator Jon Tester had harsh words in a Facebook question and answer session on Tuesday morning for the Republican leadership in the Senate regarding the next round of assistance for the unemployed.

“For months, Majority Leader (Mitch) McConnell has refused to get started on a new coronavirus package that some of you have been asking about,” said Tester. “Until last week I said it probably wasn’t going to happen because Senator McConnell said he wasn’t going to do one. Well, he’s changed his mind because it’s obvious we had to have one. This coronavirus has not gone away as the President has predicted, and in fact it’s getting worse. Now, the clock is striking midnight and the health and economic stability of Montanans are on the line, and yesterday, Senator McConnell finally presented his proposal.”

Tester said the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic has been catastrophic.

“The continued lack of a national coordinated pandemic response from this administration is a global disgrace,” he said. “The fact is that we’ll keep holding the federal government accountable for providing Montana and the United States with the necessary testing resources and personal protective equipment so that we can continue to try to get ahead of this curve on the spread of this coronavirus.”

Tester said the secret is testing, testing and more testing.
“The fact is that robust testing is the key to economic recovery,” he said. “Let me repeat, robust testing is the key to lasting economic recovery. Just hoping this virus goes away is not a solution. Being able to test for it and track it is a step in the right direction.”

Tester then answered questions from a Facebook audience.