White Home chief Meadows says “we won’t management the pandemic” after coronavirus circumstances hit document highs
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks to reporters at the White House on October 21, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Tasos Katopodis | Getty Images News | Getty Images
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Sunday the US will not gain control over the coronavirus pandemic as the country reports a record high in new daily Covid-19 cases.
“We’re not going to control the pandemic,” Meadows said during an interview on CNN. “We will control the fact that we are given vaccines, therapeutics, and other remedies.”
When asked why the US can’t make an effort to fight the pandemic, Meadows said, “Because, like the flu, it’s a contagious virus.”
“What we need to do is make sure we have the right mitigation factors, whether it’s therapies or vaccines or treatments, to make sure people don’t die from them,” Meadows said.
Meadow’s comments indicate that the Trump administration is focusing on a potential vaccine or therapeutic agent to treat Covid-19 rather than taking national measures to curb the spread of infection.
More than 224,000 people have died since the pandemic began, and health officials are pushing that protocols like wearing masks could save nearly 130,000 lives.
Meadows also defended President Donald Trump’s large rallies during the pandemic, which did not require attendees to wear masks to reduce the spread of the virus: “We live in a free society,” he commented.
Trump has repeatedly downplayed the severity of the virus, recently insisting that the country “go around the corner” and the virus “go away,” even as cases increase in most states.
Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Friday unveiled a plan to fight the virus that includes effective nationalization of mask wear, Covid-19 testing, PPE procurement, reopening guidelines and vaccine distribution.
With only nine days to go before the election, Camp Biden and Trump exchanged barbs for Meadow’s comments. Biden accused the Trump administration of wanting the virus away.
“This wasn’t a Meadows slip, but an honest affirmation of President Trump’s strategy since the beginning of this crisis: wave the white flag of defeat and hope that ignoring the virus simply goes away – it doesn’t and it won’t,” said Biden.
The White House accused Biden of “armchair quarterbacking” and said Meadows was pushing for “untenable, impractical statewide quarantine policies advocated by Democrats”.
Biden’s plan is to reopen the economy by establishing a national contact tracing corps, guaranteeing testing and personal protective equipment for all workers, providing additional financial support to small businesses, and helping health officials confirm that companies are following best practices.
The US reported 83,757 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, beating an earlier daily record of around 77,300 cases in mid-July, according to Johns Hopkins University. On Saturday, the country reported an additional 83,718 new cases.
As the country enters a potentially dangerous winter, research suggests the U.S. could see more than 500,000 total deaths by the end of February if states continue to relax pandemic restrictions.