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Politics As Trump says news about COVID should be illegal, WH chief of staff says goal is to ‘defeat’ virus, not ‘control’ it

17:20  26 october  2020
17:20  26 october  2020 Source:   news.yahoo.com

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While President Trump's chief of staff on Monday attempted to clarify the assertion that the United States is "not going to control" the coronavirus crisis, the president himself complained that the media is too focused on a pandemic that has killed more than 225,000 Americans and infected more than 8.6 million.

Trump said news coverage of COVID-19, which he has described as an attempt to hurt his campaign, should be “an election law violation.”

In an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper Sunday, Mark Meadows, Trump's chief of staff, sought to defend the administration's response to the virus on a weekend in which the United States saw its highest ever number of new COVID-19 cases in a two-day span.

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"We’re not going to control the pandemic," Meadows said. "We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations.”

“Why aren’t we going to get control of the pandemic?” Tapper asked.

“Because it is a contagious virus," Meadows replied.

Later Sunday, the Biden campaign released a statement seizing on the interview.

“This wasn't a slip by Meadows," the campaign said. "It was a candid acknowledgement of what President Trump's strategy has clearly been from the beginning of this crisis: to wave the white flag of defeat and hope that by ignoring it, the virus would simply go away.”

Mark Meadows, Donald Trump are posing for a picture: U.S. President Donald Trump departs with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows from the White House to travel to North Carolina for an election rally, in Washington, U.S., October 21, 2020. REUTERS/Al Drago © Provided by Yahoo! News U.S. President Donald Trump departs with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows from the White House to travel to North Carolina for an election rally, in Washington, U.S., October 21, 2020. REUTERS/Al Drago

Speaking to reporters outside the White House Monday, Meadows elaborated on his comments. "We're going to defeat the virus; we're not going to control it," Meadows said. "We will try to contain it as best we can, but if you look at the full context of what I was talking about, we need to make sure that we have therapeutics and vaccines, we may need to make sure that when people get sick, that, that they have the kind of therapies that the president of the United States had. Then we can provide those emergency using authorizations. Hopefully they'll be coming in very short order."

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When asked whether his remarks amounted to the White House "waving a white flag" in its coronavirus fight, Meadows said "the only person waving a white flag along with his white mask is Joe Biden," who unlike Trump appears in public with his nose and mouth covered.

Trump, meanwhile, appeared focused on the media's coverage of the coronavirus, claiming the press is using the pandemic to damage his reelection chances.

"We have made tremendous progress with the China Virus, but the Fake News refuses to talk about it this close to the Election," the president tweeted. "COVID, COVID, COVID is being used by them, in total coordination, in order to change our great early election numbers. Should be an election law violation!"

"The Fake News Media is riding COVID, COVID, COVID, all the way to the Election," he added. "Losers!"

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The Daily 202: Despite GDP growth, polls suggest Trump’s advantage on economic stewardship is narrowing .
Three-quarters of a million Americans filed jobless claims last week. President Trump’s failure to negotiate a coronavirus relief deal with Congress before the election, record-breaking surges in new covid-19 infections, a tanking stock market, declining consumer confidence in battleground states and ominous layoff announcements appear to have taken at least a marginal toll on what has been his biggest polling advantage amid the pandemic: perceived competency at managing the economy.

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