Mark Meadows says ‘we’re not going to control the pandemic’
Image via AP.

Mark Meadows
Mike Pence's aides test positive but he'll keep campaigning.

The coronavirus has reached into the heart of the White House once more, a little more than a week before Election Day, as it scorches the nation and the President’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows says “we’re not going to control the pandemic.”

Officials on Sunday scoffed at the notion of dialing back in-person campaigning despite positive tests from several aides to Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the White House coronavirus task force.

Meadows, pressed to explain why the pandemic cannot be reined in, said, “Because it is a contagious virus just like the flu.” He told CNN’s ”State of the Union” that the government was focused on getting effective therapeutics and vaccines to market.

Pence, who tested negative on Sunday, according to his office, planned an afternoon rally in North Carolina, while President Donald Trump was scheduled to be in New Hampshire and Maine.

Democrat Joe Biden attended church in the morning and planned to participate in a virtual get-out-the-vote concert at night. His running mate Kamala Harris spoke to a drive-in church service outside Detroit and was spending the day in Michigan. The California senator appeared to have the White House in mind when she praised first responders as “people who reject the notion that we cannot control this virus.”

Symptoms, including fever, cough and fatigue, may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some asymptomatic individuals test positive two to three days before developing symptoms.

The U.S. set a daily record Friday for new confirmed coronavirus infections and nearly matched it Saturday with 83,178, data published by Johns Hopkins University shows. Close to 8.6 million Americans have contracted the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and about 225,000 have died; both totals are the world’s highest.

“If Pence did not self-quarantine it would violate every core public health principle his own task force recommends,” said Lawrence Gostin, a public health expert at Georgetown University school of law. “It’s one standard for the vice president and another for all the rest of us.”

Entering the final full week before the Nov. 3 election, it’s clear the Trump team remains committed to full-throttle campaigning. Trump himself has resumed a hectic schedule since recovering from his own recent coronavirus case. Pence has trips set to Minnesota on Monday and North Carolina again on Tuesday.

Despite the rising virus numbers, the White House says the U.S. economy needs to fully reopen and it has tried to counter Biden’s criticism that Trump is not doing enough to contain the worst U.S. public health crisis in more than a century.

“What we need to do is make sure that we have the proper mitigation factors, whether it’s therapies or vaccines or treatments to make sure that people don’t die from this,” Meadows said. “But to suggest that we’re going to actually quarantine all of America, lock down our economy. … Joe Biden is saying that.”

Biden has said he would only shut down the country if that is what government scientists advise. He has said that if elected he would make the case for why a national mask mandate might be necessary and would go to the governors to help increase Americans’ mask-wearing.

Pence’s office says there are no plans to curtail campaigning. In addition to chief of staff Marc Short, who tested positive Saturday, a “couple” other aides also have also contracted the disease, Meadows said.

Meadows said Pence will wear a mask — “because the doctors have advised him to do that” — but take it off when he gives a speech.

Even with Pence’s latest negative test, symptoms, including fever, cough and fatigue, may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some asymptomatic individuals test positive two to three days before developing symptoms.

The White House says Pence was considered in “close contact” with Short under CDC guidelines. The guidelines require that essential workers exposed to someone with the coronavirus closely monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and wear a mask whenever around other people.

After consulting with the White House Medical Unit, Pence intended to maintain his schedule “in accordance with the CDC guidelines for essential personnel,” said Devin O’Malley, a Pence spokesman.

Meadows sidestepped questions about whether Pence’s campaigning fit into the spirit of the CDC’s guidelines for essential work. “He’s not just campaigning, he’s working,” Meadows said.

Trump assured supporters packed shoulder to shoulder at Saturday rallies that “we’re rounding the turn” on the coronavirus and he mocked Biden for raising alarms about the pandemic.

The candidates have demonstrated remarkably different attitudes about what they see as safe behavior in the homestretch of a campaign that, as with all aspects of American life, has been upended by the pandemic.

“We don’t want to become superspreaders,” Biden told supporters at a “drive-in” rally Saturday in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, picking up a term that has been used to describe the Rose Garden event in late September in which Trump announced his latest Supreme Court nominee. More than two dozen people linked to the White House have contracted COVID-19 since that gathering, as have campaign aides. Trump spent more than three days hospitalized at Walter Reed Military Medical Center after becoming stricken.

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Republished with permission from The Associated Press.

Associated Press


5 comments

  • S.B. ANTHONY

    October 25, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    “Because it is a contagious virus just like the flu.”

    This is a statement from an ignorant science-denying sycophant who is part
    of an administration that seeks to sicken the entire country in
    its quest for “herd immunity.” The administration’s own task force
    takes the contrary position. The problem is a reckless, selfish,
    narcissist in office who thinks of no one but himself and his
    attempt to retain power.

    If the virus is not contained by employing and encouraging the methods
    recommended by the scientists, millions of Americans will die and those
    deaths are on the heads of Trump and his minions, including each and every
    so-called Republican who has let loose this monster on America.

  • LINDIESUE

    October 25, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    The therapeutic Trump was given when at Walter Reed did not exist prior to COVID. It exists as a result of the President’s efforts to expedite (Operation Warp Speed) therapeutics, vaccines, ventilators, masks, tests and on (there were none as a result of the Obama/Biden Administration who let the stockpile dwindle.) Under Obama/Biden, over 60,000,000 Americans were infected with H1N1. Per Biden’s Chief of Staff: The snafu was the first of many scrambles and setbacks by the Obama administration in its initial response to the swine flu. POLITICO interviewed almost two dozen people, including administration officials, members of Congress and outsiders who contended with the administration’s response, and they described a litany of sadly familiar obstacles: vaccine shortfalls, fights over funding and sometimes contradictory messaging.”

    “It is purely a fortuity that this isn’t one of the great mass casualty events in American history,” Ron Klain, who was Biden’s chief of staff at the time, said of H1N1 in 2019. “It had nothing to do with us doing anything right. It just had to do with luck.”

    The same therapeutic that helped Trump he is now working on expediting its availability to the public.

    In his February 4th State of the Union address, President Trump pledged to “take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from the virus.” Nancy Pelosi then ripped up the Address in front of the world. The President: Took early action to cut off travel from China and eventually Europe, which saved millions of lives; Built the world’s leading testing system from nothing (more than 65 million); Enacted mitigation measures to slow the spread; Mobilized public and private sectors to secure needed supplies; Took action to protect vulnerable Americans; Launched effort to deliver a vaccine and therapeutics in record time; Provided support to workers and businesses; Paved way for reopening to get America working again; Surged resources to hot spots as they arose.

    In order to secure the supplies (PPE/ Masks/ventilators/handsanitizer/testing supplies urging private companies to produce them) needed to confront the surge in coronavirus we faced, President Trump led the largest mobilization of public and private sector resources since WWII.President Trump has acted under the Defense Production Act more than 30 times to ensure we have the supplies we need. When we faced a potentially catastrophic shortage of ventilators, President Trump took action to produce 100,000 ventilators and ensure no patient who needs one goes without a ventilator. President Trump moved swiftly to protect vulnerable communities.The Administration is investing approximately $2 billion in community health centers, helping their 28 million patients in medically underserved areas receive the care and testing they need.
    Early in the fight against the virus, President Trump launched a historic effort to develop a vaccine and therapeutics in record time.

    President Trump responded to the devastating toll the virus took on our businesses and workers and secured unprecedented financial support – through PPP, stimulus payments, tax relief to workers, unemployment benefits, student debt relief, prevented evictions or foreclosure.The President has provided support to states facing new emergences of the virus, including surging testing sites, deploying medical personnel, and advising on mitigation strategies.

  • James Robert Miles

    October 25, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Meanwhile, Trump has NO PLAN as the second wave is upon us. This was known months ago so what is his excuse, this time? You loser and sucker Trump supporters have no love for this country and are working hard to try to bring this nation down, plain and simple! All the B.S. in the world will not eliminate that fact! Losers like Trump, ALL OF YOU! VOTE HIM OUT, LOCK HIM UP!! DUMP TRUMP 2020!! Save America from destruction!!

  • Sonja Fitch

    October 25, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    MM quitter and drifter ! Americans are able to do and control this trumpvirus! Just cause you and trump and the goptrump cult gives up does not mean America has quit! Vote Democrat up and down ballot for the common good and decency and our damn health!

  • Valerie Sprieser

    October 26, 2020 at 12:52 am

    Utah with spiraling cases governor is asking hospitals to prioritize young patients over old! Patients that are not improving over a set time will be removed from ICU beds and put in regular beds .
    That is Florida’s future because Desantis along with trump has given up and will let herd immunity take its course!
    Thousands will die that could have been saved!
    Trump and Desantis are murders!

Comments are closed.


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