Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Politicians on both sides of the aisle lined up to condemn Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) Friday for his reported attempt to delay the passage of the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, which he opposes.

What's happening: Congress had wanted to approve the measure by voice vote on Friday to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus for members who had to travel back to D.C. But those plans changed late Thursday over concerns that Massie could force a roll-call vote, requiring at least 216 members present on the House floor, per NBC New York.

What they're saying:

  • Former Secretary of State John Kerry, responded with a tweet of his own: "Breaking news: Congressman Massie has tested positive for being an asshole. He must be quarantined to prevent the spread of his massive stupidity. He's given new meaning to the term #Masshole. (Finally, something the president and I can agree on!)"
  • Rep. Dean Philips (D-Minn.) tweeted: Dear @RepThomasMassie: If you intend to delay passage of the #coronavirus relief bill tomorrow morning, please advise your 428 colleagues RIGHT NOW so we can book flights and expend ~$200,000 in taxpayer money to counter your principled but terribly misguided stunt. #thankyou"
  • Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) responded as he drove back to Washington, per NBC New York: "If that's the method used to get this to the American people, to get this passed, then I think lots of members are probably OK with that," Jordan added: "I know the plan is for it to be a voice vote, and that's what the leadership has said they're for, and I think that's fine."
  • Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) told CNN: “It’s an act of vanity and selfishness that goes beyond comprehension. .. But the fact that he would put people who are at risk .. in order to satisfy his vanity is a pretty pathetic reflection on his character.” Kildee added: “He should be ashamed of himself and the country should scorn him,”
  • Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) tweeted: "Heading to Washington to vote on pandemic legislation. Because of one Member of Congress refusing to allow emergency action entire Congress must be called back to vote in House. Risk of infection and risk of legislation being delayed. Disgraceful. Irresponsible."
  • Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Republican, tweeted: "Lots in bill ain't great, but this stupid stunt hurts ppl who he's supposed to represent. There's 535 members of Congress? Does Massie think he's smarter & better than the other 534? He can't stop bill; only delay & cost millions to have members return. Vote yes or just go home!"

Go deeper: Trump blasts GOP Rep. Thomas Massie for stimulus vote delay

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In pictures: Storm Zeta churns inland after lashing Louisiana

Debris on the streets as then-Hurricane Zeta passes over in Arabi, Louisiana, on Oct. 28. It's the third hurricane to hit Louisiana in about two months, after Laura and Delta. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta has killed at least two people, triggered flooding, downed powerlines and caused widespread outages since making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday.

The big picture: A record 11 named storms have made landfall in the U.S. this year. Zeta is the fifth named storm to do so in Louisiana in 2020, the most ever recorded. It weakened t0 a tropical storm early Thursday, as it continued to lash parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle with heavy rains and strong winds.

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Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing" and the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus for the achievement, per Bloomberg.

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