In what appears to be a mark of surrender by the Trump administration, the White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadow said Sunday that the government cannot control the COVID-19 pandemic anymore but will explore other measures like vaccines and therapy.
“We are not going to control the pandemic,” Meadows said on CNN’s State of the Union program. “We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics, and other mitigation areas.”
This comment by the chief of staff is coming on the heels of a recent spike in the number of coronavirus cases across the US. It was not the sort of speech that inspired confidence, as the White House seems to be battling another round of coronavirus infection. Reports had it that at least five people in Vice President Mike Pence’s inner circle contracted the coronavirus over the weekend, including the VP’s Chief of Staff Marc Short.
When quizzed on why the US can’t seem to get the pandemic under control, Meadow responded that the coronavirus was as contagious as the flu and that there were efforts by President to rein on its continuous spread, Times-Union reported.
On Saturday, it was another record of new cases of the coronavirus in the country with infections topping 84,000. As of Sunday, there were over 8 million people who had contracted the virus in the US, while a total of 224,800 Americans have died from it, using data from John Hopkins University.
However, as concerns grow over another outbreak in the White House, Pence is refusing to quarantine and plans to go on with campaign schedules. Meadow said the vice president, as an essential employee, will carry on with his normal schedule.
Asides from the VP’s chief of staff, other staff to have contracted the virus include Zach Bauer and Marty Obst. Pence is not known to wear masks regularly, so observers say it is only a matter of time before he, too, comes down with the virus. Meanwhile, the VP and second lady Karen Pence tested negative for a coronavirus test conducted on Sunday.
Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic nominee for vice president, has said the Trump administration is admitting to defeat. Harris, while reacting to news of a potent outbreak within the VP’s team, said that the vice president was supposed to discontinue campaigns, which he promised not to. She said citizens should emulate their behavior and take the DNC’s safety practice as the right attitude to emulate.
Harris had canceled a campaign schedule several days ago when two members of her team tested positive for the coronavirus.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, not to be left out of such opportunity, took a swipe at the Trump administration. He said the White House had given up on trying to control the pandemic and, therefore have failed to protect the American people.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Sunday also reacted to the Meadow’s statements. He said the President and his handlers might have admitted their failures in tackling the pandemic and finally surrendered.
“Mr. Meadows said we can’t control the virus,” Cuomo began. “That was a very telling statement that he said that because it basically admitted and encapsulated the way they have handled COVID from the start. They have believed from the beginning that they can’t control the virus. That’s the only rationale that explains the denial and lying.”
He said the ability of New York to flatten the curve, going from the state with the highest number of infections during the spring to one of the states with the lowest, shows the virus can be contained.
Cuomo, a top ally of Joe Biden, has often publicly criticized President Trump and roundly rejected the way and manner the administration has handled the pandemic.