GOP senator blasted for opposing coronavirus paid sick leave: ‘He sure showed up to work on July 4th in Moscow’
Ron johnson speaks to NBC (screen grab)

Sen. Ron Johnson Says Leave Is 'Incentivizing People to Not Show Up for Work'

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican of Wisconsin, says he opposes items in a congressional bill focused on helping and protecting Americans in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic.

A close ally to President Donald Trump, Johnson "said he's worried not only about potential layoffs but also about 'incentivizing people to not show up for work either and don't necessarily want to do that. You have to think this thing through in terms of what are the unintended consequences of good intentions.'"

“People are going to have to work," he added, as USA Today reports. "People do need to recognize the fact that this is not Ebola. This is not MERS. It's not quite the seasonal flu," Johnson said, minimizing the severity of the pandemic. "But we have to keep things in perspective and we got to keep our economy."

He also "said small firms could suffer major hardships if they are forced to 'pay wages they cannot afford.'"

Sen. Johnson was forced to cancel a vote last week to authorize a subpoena to obtain records related to the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Former Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill slammed Johnson one week ago, calling him "an embarrassing tool" and "a joke" before he decided to forego the subpoena, at least temporarily.

He's now in hot water once again over his classist remarks.

Johnson, who was among several Republicans who visited Russian president Vladimir Putin's Kremlin last year on the Fourth of July, was excoriated for his unpatriotic acts.

Here's how some are responding:

Photo: Ron Johnson speaks to NBC (screen grab)