Mark Meadows: ‘We’re Not Going To Control the Pandemic’
With just over a week to go until Election Day, is the Trump administration signaling its surrender to COVID-19? “We’re not going to control the pandemic,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday. Instead, Meadows said, the administration will “control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas.”
Mark Meadows: “We’re not going to control the pandemic, we are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations.”
Jake Tapper: “Why aren’t we going to get control of the pandemic?”
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) October 25, 2020
Of course, the White House does not control how soon a vaccine will be developed. But the administration does seem committed to its message of nonchalance about a disease that has killed more than 225,000 Americans already. Meanwhile, the coronavirus has again penetrated the executive branch’s inner circles: Five of Vice President Mike Pence’s aides, including his own chief of staff, have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days—but the veep (who tested negative on Sunday) hit the campaign trail for stops in Florida and North Carolina this weekend. Saskia Popescu, an infectious disease expert at George Mason University, told the Associated Press that he thinks Pence’s plans to continue campaigning while the virus spreads among his close contacts is “grossly negligent.”
Trump, meanwhile, continues to push the message that America is “rounding the corner” in its fight with the virus even as the number of infections has surged once more. More than 85,000 new cases were reported on Friday, breaking the single-day record set during the so-called “second wave” in mid-July.
Cases are also rising sharply in Europe, where several countries have implemented new restrictions on social gatherings. Ireland has already reimposed an economic lockdown in an attempt to bring the virus under control.
A more competent administration would be arguing against repeating that sort of economically destructive—and ultimately ineffective—strategy, and would instead use its bully pulpit to encourage people to take necessary precautions like wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings. Such mitigation strategies should be presented as alternatives to lockdowns that would help reduce transmission and protect the economy, not as concessions to the tyranny of public health experts.
Or maybe Santa Claus will deliver a vaccine, but that seems unlikely.
The Trump administration offered Santa Claus performers a deal: promote a Covid-19 vaccine, and they’d get early access
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