Former Republican senator who voted against Covid-19 aid resigned over long Covid

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Former Republican Senator James Inhofe, who retired at the end of last year, announced that he suffered from symptoms of long Covid after he voted repeatedly against Covid-19 aid packages.

Mr Inhofe, who represented Oklahoma for decades in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, told The Tulsa World that he left the Senate because of the lingering effects from contracting Covid-19.

“Five or six others have (long COVID), but I’m the only one who admits,” he said. Senator Tim Kaine, the Democratic senator from Virginia, said last year that he suffered lingering effects of Covid-19.

Mr Inhofe, 88, retired earlier this year from the Senate despite his term not being complete. Senator Markwayne Mullin, a Republican, replaced him.

Throughout his tenure as a senator, Mr Inhofe voted against relief for people and businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic, HuffPost reported. In March 2020, he voted against the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which expanded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamp program, expanded unemployment benefits and provided paid sick leave for those affected by Covid-19.

Mr Inhofe did vote for the CARES Act around that same time, which offered relief for families, the $1,200 stimulus checks and the Paycheck Protection Program, which offered loans to businesses affected by the pandemic in an effort to keep employees on payroll. He also voted for a Covid-19 relief bill in December 2020 that offered $600 stimulus checks, among other provisions. Former president Donald Trump signed both pieces of legislation during the pandemic.

But Mr Inhofe voted against the American Rescue Plan, which included a $1,400 stimulus check, unemployment benefits and provisions to help with vaccination distribution.

Mr Inhofe earned a distinction throughout his time in the Senate for being an ardent denier of the effects of climate change, notably throwing a snowball on the floor of the United States Senate when he served as chairman of the Senate Environment Committee.