Public health guidance has prevented lawmakers in particular from receiving classified briefings—normally conducted in small and specially secure rooms that would heighten the risk of spreading the virus for those in attendance. “No classified briefings means no oversight on sensitive details of really important U.S. foreign-policy issues,” said one Senate aide, speaking on condition of anonymity. Before the virus struck the United States, senators were pushing the administration for months to hold classified briefings on the drawdown of U.S. forces in Iraq, peace talks in Afghanistan, and U.S. tensions with Iran in light of debates about war powers authorization—with limited luck. “It was already pulling teeth to get classified briefings on non-COVID issues,” the Senate aide said. “We were pushing for regular classified briefings on details of the [Afghan] peace plan, and now we can’t get that at all.” “There’s always lots of things they would rather not have to answer to Congress about, but the mandatory quarantine allows them to simply say there’s a classification issue and we don’t have any recourse,” another Senate aide said.