Republican Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia told retired Colonel Patricia Hastings that she could take extra time during a recent hearing because she was “so pretty,” reports Newsweek.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs hosted the hearing on Wednesday to examine procedures involving veterans exposed to environmental hazards during deployment.
Isakson, who is the chairman of the committee, made the remark while prompting Hastings to deliver her opening remarks.
“You’ve got up to five minutes,” Isakson told Hastings, who is the chief consultant of post-deployment health services in the VA, before her testimony on assessing veterans exposed to toxic chemicals. “You’re so pretty, if you take a little a longer, I won’t say anything.”
He added, “If you take a lot longer, I’ll say a lot.”
“OK,” Hastings responded to the senator, who later winked at her as well according to Newsweek.
“You’re so pretty, if you talk a little longer, I won’t say anything,” GOP @SenatorIsakson in SVAC hearing on Wednesday to Dr. Patricia Hastings, chief consultant, post-deployment health.
— TheGailyGrind (@thegailygrind) September 30, 2019
“Hastings, who served in the Army for 33 years, proceeded to speak about the processes the VA uses to identify and treat illnesses for veterans affected by hazards like radiation, burn pits and infectious diseases. One in three veterans reports a possible exposure to environmental hazards, according to Hastings’ testimony,” Newsweek notes.