Republicans call out double standard after COVID-exposed Tina Smith flies back to Washington

"The double standard, hypocrisy and continued politicization of COVID from Democrats is wrong."

Tina Smith/Twitter

Minnesota Republicans called out Democrats and the media for staying quiet after U.S. Sen. Tina Smith announced she would go back to Washington after being exposed to COVID-19.

Smith attended a campaign event the weekend of Oct. 10 where at least one attendee later tested positive for COVID-19. Smith quarantined herself after learning of the case and then was administered a test for the virus, which came back negative. Shortly after getting her test results, Smith announced she would travel to Washington for her Senate work, a move that was criticized by Republicans as being hypocritical.

“Today [we] saw Democratic Sen. Tina Smith jump on a flight to Washington after receiving a negative COVID test result. Two weeks ago Democrats criticized three Minnesota Republican members of Congress for flying back from Reagan National to MSP Airport after receiving negative COVID tests and clearance from the House doctor,” Minnesota GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan said in a statement. 

“The double standard, hypocrisy and continued politicization of COVID from Democrats is wrong. With two weeks until the election, we can only hope Tina Smith and the rest of her party will attempt to operate with some level of integrity,” she continued. 

Smith’s announcement comes just over two weeks after many Democrats and the media criticized Minnesota’s three GOP congressmen, who also tested negative, for flying home after being exposed to COVID-19.

“By flying so soon after being exposed to COVID-19, Congressmen Emmer, Hagedorn, and Stauber deliberately put the health and safety of their fellow passengers at serious risk,” said Ken Martin, chairman of the Minnesota DFL Party. “As these Congressmen know, medical experts have said that a negative test soon after exposure is nearly meaningless.”

Martin’s statement about the Republican representatives was included in a DFL press release that explicitly “slams” the congressmen.

Alpha News reached out to Martin and Smith for comment but has yet to receive a response. 

Sen. Smith’s opponent, Jason Lewis, called out the double standard for Republicans from media outlets.

“Today Tina Smith got on a plane after being exposed to COVID. Yes she tested negative, but MN media previously blasted 3 MN GOP Congressmen for flying after testing negative, citing ‘long incubation period/false negatives. If you haven’t figured it out, you’re being played,” he said on Twitter. 

In another tweet, Lewis criticized the media for giving Smith a “free pass,” while Carnahan claimed that Rep. Dean Phillips tried to get his Republican colleagues thrown off their Delta flight earlier this month. 

The CDC states on its website that travel should be postponed if “you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.”