Georgia Senate: Jon Ossoff goes viral for blasting Republican David Perdue over Covid-19 and health care

Griffin Connolly
·3-min read
Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff is in a tossup race against GOP Senator David Perdue. (Getty Images)
Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff is in a tossup race against GOP Senator David Perdue. (Getty Images)

Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff has gone viral for his blistering comments at a debate in Savannah, Georgia, on Wednesday about his opponent’s record on Covid-19 and health care.

Mr Ossoff — a former investigative journalist — and GOP Senator David Perdue are in a statistical deadlock, recent polls show, in one of the two Georgia Senate races this fall that could decide whether Democrats or Republicans control the upper chamber next year.

In the video, viewed over 3m times on social media by Thursday morning, Mr Ossoff accuses Mr Perdue of being a “crook” who was “looking after” his own assets during the coronavirus pandemic and blasts the incumbent for voting to end health care protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions on four separate occasions.

In the clip Mr Ossoff refers to inquiries into his opponent’s stock trades, saying: "Perhaps Senator Perdue would have been able to respond properly to the Covid-19 pandemic if you hadn't been fending off multiple federal investigations for insider trading.

"It’s not just that you’re a crook, Senator. It's that you're attacking the health of the people that you represent.

“You did say Covid-19 was no deadlier than the flu. You did say there would be no uptick in case. All the while, you were looking after your own assets, and your own portfolio. And you did vote four times to end protections for pre-existing conditions.”

Inside Elections with Nathan L Gonzales shifted Mr Perdue and Mr Ossoff’s race to Tossup on Wednesday. It had previously been a Tilts Republican seat.

Mr Ossoff also railed against Mr Perdue’s proposed legislation to replace Obamacare, the so-called Protect Act, saying it was purposely written with loopholes so insurance companies could hike rates for people with pre-existing conditions.

“Can you look down the camera and tell the people of this state why you voted four times to allow insurance companies to deny us health coverage, because we may suffer from diabetes, or heart disease, or asthma, or have cancer in remission?” Mr Ossoff asked.

Mr Perdue, like many other Republicans in key Senate swing states this cycle, has denied he wants to gut protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions.

“I believe health insurance should always cover pre-existing conditions. Period. I've sponsored legislation to do just that,” he tweeted on Wednesday after the debate.

For 10 years, Republicans have tried — and failed — to dismantle Obamacare, the 2010 health care law that drastically lowered premiums for people with pre-existing conditions and eliminated lifetime caps for insurance coverage costs, among several other provisions.

They have taken that battle to the federal judiciary, where the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a challenge to the law on 10 November.

Mr Ossoff has raised more than $32m for his campaign. Mr Perdue has raised $21.4m.

The final day to vote in the Georgia election is next Tuesday, 3 November.

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