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Is Congress Invulnerable to COVID-19? | The Pragmatic Constitutionalist

In a moment of curiosity during the holiday weekend, I asked myself why no members of Congress have yet died of #CommieVirus2020?  At the onset of the pandemic scare, there were several MSM articles published stating the vulnerability of Congressional members — predominantly because of their average age — and the disruptive chaos that could potentially follow, especially given the current balance of power in the Senate and the wide array of state laws pertaining to replacing those who die while in office. But, that hasn’t happened . . . and, why?

It would seem, statistically, we should have lost a half dozen or so, by now, even after the initial models were shown to be vastly overstated.

The average age of members of the House at the beginning of the 116th Congress was 57.6 years. Of Senators, it was 62.9 years.  Currently, three member of Congress are 83 years of age; two are 84; one is 85; 4 are 86; 48 Senators are over 65; 147 Representatives are over 65.

As of July 4th, only 1 Senator has been diagnosed with COVID-19, and only six members of The House.

(Another curious aside that I discovered . . . is that the average age of the Democratic House leadership is 72 years old, whereas the average age of Republican House leadership is only 48 years old. This trend continues, with ranking committee Democrats averaging 68 years old, and Republican chairmen averaging only 59 years old.  Who would have suspected that Republican leadership is so significantly younger than that of Democratic leaders, especially given what we assume to be true among the voting habits of the electorate, at large?)

But, I digress.

I’m not prepared to make any assumptions as to why dire predictions of Congressional susceptibility to this coronavirus have not played out as initially feared, but it is nonetheless a curiosity why our representatives — who are much older than the median age of the American population, at 38.2 years — have not suffered a single fatality during this crisis.  Do you remember that in the earliest days, even after President Trump curbed travel from China, House Leader Pelosi encouraged people to visit Chinatown?  Senator Rand Paul, who early on did contract COVID-19, detailed how Congress members were still actively attending large group meetings and up-close interactions with their constituents and foreign dignitaries.  Why were more not infected during this time, before social distancing and mask-wearing?

Is the extra-statistical invulnerability to this virus among Congresspersons a product of better risk mitigation that among the general population?  Their superior healthcare plans? Or is it just a statistical anomaly?

Perhaps it’s something else that my own curiosity has not yet led me to discover?

What do you think?


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