Democrats plead with Pence to skip Barrett vote: 'Nothing about your presence can be considered essential'
Mike Pence visits Texas amid pandemic (Photo: Screen capture)

Senate Democrats on Monday demanded that Vice President Mike Pence not enter the Senate chamber after at least five of his staff tested positive for COVID-19.

"Vice President Pence cannot come to the Senate because of his exposure to multiple COVID-positive staffers," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrote in a tweet on Monday. "His purely ceremonial and non-essential presence would just put Senators, staff, and Capitol workers at risk."

Pence was also sent a letter from 10 Senate Democrats.

"With five of your closest aides recently testing positive for COVID-19, it is not a risk worth taking. We ask you to reconsider," the letter says. "Not only would your presence in the Senate Chamber tomorrow be a clear violation of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, it would also be a violation of common decency and courtesy."

The letter goes on to note that Pence's "presence alone could be very dangerous to many people – not just Senators, but to all the truly essential staff – both Democratic and Republican – who must be physically present inside the U.S. Capitol for it to function."

"Nothing about your presence in the Senate tomorrow can be considered essential. You will not need to cast the deciding vote to break a tie. Your presence tomorrow would be purely ceremonial," the Democrats add.