Democrats are lambasting Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows after he told CNN’s Jake Tapper that “we’re not going to control the pandemic,” with vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris leading the charge.
As the COVID-19 death count in the U.S. approaches 225,000 people and several members of the Trump Administration — including Trump himself — join the millions that have tested positive for the virus, Meadows suggested in his interview on “State of the Union” that the virus was beyond containment. Instead, Meadows said that the White House was “going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas.”
“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 Democrats accused Meadows and the Trump Administration of giving up on any effort to contain the virus, a criticism that has been leveled at the White House as it has continued to disregard advice from epidemiologists to wear masks, social distance and avoid large gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In her own interview, Sen. Harris said that Meadows was “admitting defeat.”
“This is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of America,” Harris told reporters in Michigan. “They have forfeited their right to a second term in office.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo voiced his own frustration in a tweet, pointing out that his state was able to contain the virus even though it hit a dangerous peak at the onset of the pandemic.
“Meadows admitted it: They surrendered. They capitulated,” he tweeted. “The White House might have surrendered. But Americans haven’t.”
On Saturday, 84,000 new cases were reported in the U.S., the second-highest single-day total since the start of the pandemic. Cases are rising in 45 states as epidemiologists warn that the next wave of infections coming this winter could be even deadlier than the first peak seen in April and May. Despite this, Vice President Mike Pence, head of the White House COVID-19 Task Force, has said that he will continue to travel and campaign in the final days of the presidential election, which will be held next Tuesday.
Watch Meadows’ interview with Tapper in the clip above.