Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was criticized for laughing while being confronted about the Senate’s failure to pass coronavirus relief measures during Monday’s night debate with his Democratic opponent Amy McGrath.
McGrath, a former Marine Corps fighter pilot, was grilling McConnell for the Senate’s failure to pass an additional coronavirus relief package that would have helped millions who are struggling during the pandemic, which has killed more than 214,000 Americans and severely impacted the economy and the job market.
During the exchange, McConnell blamed the Democrat-led House for the inaction, prompting a frustrated laugh from McGrath.
“The House passed a bill in May and the Senate went on vacation,” McGrath said.
McConnell laughed in response, setting off waves of criticism on social media.
“You just don’t do that. You negotiate. Senator, it is a national crisis,” McGrath said as McConnell continued to smile and chuckle.
“You knew that the coronavirus wasn’t going to end at the end of July. We knew this,” she said. “If you want to call yourself a leader you’ve got to get things done. Those of us who served in the Marines, we don’t just point fingers at the other side. We get the job done.”
McConnell who still appeared to be amused, then said, “Nobody went on vacation.”
McConnell’s cavalier response to the Senate’s failure to provide economic relief to unemployed Americans struggling during the deadly pandemic provoked outrage from several Democrats on social media.
McGrath also shared the clip, saying, “there’s nothing funny about 214,000 Americans dying.”
People commented on the “creepy” and “haunting” sound of McConnell’s laugh.
People also referred to an older clip featuring McConnell’s “goblin laugh” that was widely shared on Sunday.
In the 2019 clip that went viral again this week, McConnell gleefully laughed about blocking Obama’s judicial nominees during his interview with pro-Trump personality Sean Hannity.