‘We’re not going to control the pandemic’: White House chief’s comments undermine Trump’s message

Source: Politico | October 25, 2020 | Nolan D. McCaskill

Mark Meadows acknowledged the situation is not easily handled, with nine days left in a presidential campaign dominated by the coronavirus.

The Trump administration signaled on Sunday that it had given up on controlling the spread of the coronavirus, even as Covid-19 makes its second run through the White House, three in four Americans are concerned that they or someone they know will contract the disease, and millions of American families are suffering as negotiators struggle to clinch an elusive relief deal.

“We’re not going to control the pandemic,” White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “We are gonna control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas.”

Yet President Donald Trump — who continues to insist that the country is “rounding the corner” despite a new surge in cases — is campaigning in New Hampshire and Maine on Sunday before returning to the White House to co-host a Halloween event with first lady Melania Trump. Vice President Mike Pence will also continue to campaign instead of quarantine, after a top staffer tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday.

Nine days out from a critical election that will determine whether voters will “Keep America Great” by reelecting Trump or “Build Back Better” by promoting former Vice President Joe Biden, the coronavirus is dominating the presidential campaign.

“This wasn’t a slip by Meadows,” Biden said in a statement. “It was a candid acknowledgement of what President Trump’s strategy has clearly been from the beginning of this crisis: to wave the white flag of defeat and hope that by ignoring it, the virus would simply go away. It hasn’t, and it won’t.”

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