Politics

Why Does ‘Sunscreen’ Appear 49 Times In The $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package?

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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The $2 trillion coronavirus relief package passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump mentions the word sunscreen 49 times, but why is that? How could that help fight the coronavirus as the deadly disease continues to spread throughout the U.S.?

The Treatment of Sunscreen Innovation Act, which benefits large manufacturers in Kentucky — where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is up for re-election in November — was placed into the coronavirus stimulus package.

Right before the bill passed, the French cosmetics company L’Oréal, which has factories in Kentucky, announced they will be donating a ton of supplies and services to those affected by the coronavirus. (RELATED: ‘We Have A Deal’: McConnell Speaks After $2 Trillion Emergency Relief Package For Coronavirus Has Been Reached)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) exits a Senate GOP lunch meeting in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill March 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“L’Oréal USA today announced a multi-faceted initiative to support Americans during the COVID-19 outbreak and recovery. This commitment is made in addition to L’Oréal’s Europe-wide Coronavirus Solidarity Program, which includes a one-million euro donation to non-profit organizations across Europe,” the company said in a press release Thursday.

The Daily Caller contacted those who could have knowledge of the issue and spoke to Rachel Bovard, the Senior Director of Policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute.

“The word ‘sunscreen’ appears in an emergency coronavirus relief bill 49 times. It’s unclear what this bill has to do with helping workers and families impacted by this public health crisis — except to say that powerful members of Congress are skilled in never letting a crisis go to waste,” Bovard told the Daily Caller.

McConnell’s office told the Daily Caller the senator did “help establish the working groups at the beginning of the process, but Alexander and Murray led this particular group,” speaking of Republican Tennesse Sen. Lamar Alexander and Democratic Washington Sen. Patty Murray.

“When we began bipartisan discussions on the coronavirus bill with our Democratic colleagues, they asked us to include this overwhelmingly bipartisan bill into the larger coronavirus package. We were very happy to oblige as it was bipartisan, related to the coronavirus crisis, and when Sen. Murray asks Sen. Alexander to consider something he always listens. This was an easy call as it was a bipartisan bill that the Committee had already approved and important to help the American people,” a spokesperson for Alexander told the Daily Caller.

David Cleary, the chief of staff for Alexander, said, “Senator McConnell’s office actively opposed the inclusion of the over the counter monograph reform and sunscreen legislation until the very end.”

A spokesperson for Alexander also explained that The Treatment of Sunscreen Innovation Act, which includes the word sunscreen 49 times, was included in The Over-the-Counter Drug Safety, Innovation, and Reform Act, which is a bipartisan bill from former Republican Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson and Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey that passed the Senate by a vote of 91-2. These are a part of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package.

McConnell’s office would not say if they would criticize other senators over unrelated provisions in the bill.

When the Daily Caller asked McConnell’s office if the senator pushed for this in the Senate and/or with the Food and Drug Administration, they responded by saying none of McConnell’s staff nor McConnell himself had any role or contact with this part of the legislation.