Senate

Senate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus

Senate Republicans will release a documentary series hitting China and congressional Democrats over the coronavirus pandemic just days before the election.

The conference on Friday teased a trailer for the five-part series on its Twitter page, saying it will feature "never-before-seen footage" and interviews with several GOP senators. 

"When a virus starts in a country that is refusing to share information, it sets you back," Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) says in a trailer for the series, referring to China. 

Several Republicans, including Sens. John Barrasso (Wyo.), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), also say Democrats were "obsessed" with impeachment in the early months of the pandemic, and Cruz accuses them of being "much more focused on attacking the president" than tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

Lawmakers in the series will also praise President Trump's response to the pandemic, noting that he closed most travel from China and that many businesses were shut down, though those efforts were spearheaded by state governments. 

"For the first time in the history of the country, we had a government that shut down the economy," says Sen. Pat Toomey (Pa.). 

The series - premiering Oct. 28 and titled "The Invisible Enemy" - looks to defend Trump on what is emerging as the defining issue of the election. Polls have shown the majority of voters disapprove of the way the president has handled the pandemic as cases across the country spike.

Trump has come under withering criticism from Democrats over the spread of COVID-19 across the country, with lawmakers saying the White House did not take serious enough action early on to blunt the virus's spread.

"Learning to live with it?" Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said at Thursday's debate after Trump said people were adjusting to life with the pandemic. "People are learning to die with it."

It's unclear how much impact the series will have given a spike in early voting, with millions of people having already mailed in their ballots or visited early voting polling places.

Outbrain