Kamala Harris, Democratic vice-presidential nominee, said it was “reckless” to hold Monday’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing amid a pandemic, especially given the recent outbreak of COVID-19 affecting three US senators, reported AFP.

“This hearing has brought together more than 50 people to sit inside of a closed-door room for hours while our nation is facing a deadly airborne virus,” Harris, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told the hearing via videolink.

“The decision to hold this hearing now is reckless and places facility’s workers, janitorial staff and congressional aides and Capitol Police at risk,” the 55-year-old senator added.

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Donald Trump’s pick to fill a major Supreme Court role, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, faced a Senate grilling as the hearing for her appointment began on Monday. The Democrats, who oppose the choice for the conservative judge, appear to be powerless in blocking her lifetime appointment.

The 48-year-old law professor was chosen by US Republican President Donald Trump on September 26, following the death of justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal and a woman’s rights champion.

The Senate, which is dominated by the Republicans at present, is tasked by law to approve nominations to the country’s apex court. The conservatives currently occupy five out of nine seats in the Supreme Court.

“We will have a hearing hopefully that the country will be (able to) learn more about Judge Barrett, learn more about the law, learn about the differences in judging,” Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham said after banging a gavel to start the proceedings.