Tags: Coronavirus | Health Topics | Cold/Flu | tom cotton | democrats | masks | manufacturers

Tom Cotton: Dems Killed Protection for Mask Makers

tom cotton sits and answers questions on stage
Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 10 March 2020 01:26 PM

Congressional Democrats last week killed a provision that would have ensured medical professionals would have had the masks they need in the fight against coronavirus by rejecting a measure that would have allowed legal immunity for manufacturers, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said Tuesday. 

"Mask manufacturers like 3M and others asked for legal immunity to use industrial masks when screening for the coronavirus," Cotton told Fox News' "Fox & Friends." "These are the exact same kind of masks that doctors and nurses currently use, but they are just not suitable for every medical purpose. But for an airborne illness like this, they're perfectly suitable."

However, he said, doctors "reasonably fear ambulance-chasing lawyers" trying to bring lawsuits in the future, so Republicans sought immunity, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and others refused. 

"They put huge fees for ambulance-chasing lawyers ahead of the safety of our doctors and nurses and therefore ahead of public safety," Cotton said. "That's a disgrace and we need to fix it now."

Cotton called for bringing a bill to the floor this week before Congress adjourns for a week-long recess, to make sure mask manufacturers are protected and the masks are made available. 

Meanwhile, several members of Congress are remaining at home under self-quarantine, but Cotton said that does not mean lawmakers are not in session and should focus on passing bills, including protections for mask makers and other matters.

He also called for measures to protect people who might be put out of work as the epidemic grows, who do not have "the luxury" of working at home, or who have children whose schools are closed.

"We want to make sure that those people who might suffer that harm through no fault of their own are held harmless," Cotton said.

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A provision that would have ensured medical professionals would have had the masks they need in the fight against coronavirus was rejected by congressional Democrats last week, according to Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., on Tuesday.
tom cotton, democrats, masks, manufacturers, legal, immunity
Tuesday, 10 March 2020 01:26 PM
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