‘We’re not going to control the pandemic,’ WH official says; Biden says Trump has quit virus fight
The latest headlines and other things you should know today from the 2020 election.
There are 9 days until Election Day. Here’s today’s latest.
WH chief of staff: ‘We’re not going to control the pandemic’
With COVID-19 cases surging in the United States, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows acknowledged that the Trump administration can’t stop the spread and is focusing instead on getting a vaccine.
He told CNN’s “State of the Union”: “We’re not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics.”
President Donald Trump largely shuns wearing a mask and has repeatedly insisted at campaign rallies that the U.S. is “rounding the corner” when it comes to the coronavirus. But Meadows on Sunday appeared to contradict that assessment. When pressed why the U.S. won’t get control of the pandemic, he replied: “Because it is a contagious virus just like the flu.”
Meadows says the administration is making efforts to contain the virus and predicts “we’re going to defeat it.” Meadows says “our ability to handle this has improved each and every day.” New cases, however, have been on the rise, according to data published by Johns Hopkins University.
Trump swings through Maine
President Donald Trump made a brief swing to Maine’s 2nd Congressional District on Sunday to present his case for its single electoral vote.
The president’s trek to Maine came after a campaign stop in New Hampshire. At Maine’s Treworgy Family Orchards in the town of Levant, Trump was greeted by a crush of mostly unmasked supporters and spent a few minutes autographing campaign hats and pumpkins.
Maine assigns two of its electoral votes by congressional district. The other two are awarded to the candidate with the most votes in the state.
Trump won the state’s northern, rural district and its electoral vote in 2016.
Harris to campaign in Texas this week
Sen. Kamala Harris is set to campaign in Texas during the final week of the presidential campaign.
A campaign aide says the Democratic vice presidential nominee will be in the state on Friday. Further details of the trip haven’t been released.
Texas is one of 17 battleground states Joe Biden’s campaign is targeting. The state has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1980, but Democrats have closed the gap in recent years.
Harris’ trip to Texas will follow recent campaign stops in Georgia, another reliably Republican state that Democrats see potential in flipping this year, and Michigan, where Trump had his narrowest margin of victory in 2016. On Tuesday she plans to campaign in Nevada.
Trump says virus is ‘going to be over’ during N.H. stop
President Donald Trump is asserting that even without a vaccine, “we’re rounding the turn. It’s going to be over.”
Trump made the dubious claim to voters at a packed campaign rally in New Hampshire.
Data from Johns Hopkins University shows new COVID-19 cases at a high, with 83,718 reported Saturday, just shy of the 83,757 infections on Friday. Before that, the most cases reported in the United States on a single day had been 77,362, on July 16.
Trump says “you know why we have cases so much? Because that’s all we do but test.”
Trump is trying to win a state that he narrowly lost to Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. He is also making a stop in Bangor, Maine. He’s trying to capture the 2nd Congressional District’s one electoral vote.
Biden: Trump has waved ‘white flag of defeat’ in battle against virus
Joe Biden says President Donald Trump’s top adviser has waved “the white flag of defeat” in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden admonished White House chief of staff Mark Meadows after earlier on Sunday he said in an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union” that “we’re not going to control the pandemic” and asserted that getting vaccines and therapeutics was ultimately the answer to dealing with a surge in infections.
The former vice president says in a statement that “this wasn’t a slip by Meadows, it was a candid acknowledgement of what President Trump’s strategy has clearly been from the beginning of this crisis.”
Vice President Mike Pence’s office confirmed late Saturday that he will stay on the campaign trail despite being in close contact with his chief of staff, who earlier on Saturday tested positive for the virus.
Biden attends church, spends day in Delaware
With nine days to go until Election Day, Joe Biden is spending a quiet Sunday in Wilmington, Delaware.
The Democratic presidential candidate attended church nearby his home with two of his granddaughters. It’s a Sunday constant for Biden, who makes sure to attend most of the time he’s home.
Sunday evening, Biden will speak at a star-studded virtual get-out-the-vote concert. Jill Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, will also speak at the event, and a handful of celebrities — including John Legend, Jon Bon Jovi and Cher — will appear and perform. The concert is part of the campaign’s push to get voters to head to the polls early. Harris is spending Sunday campaigning in Detroit, a key base of Democratic support in pivotal Michigan for the Biden campaign.
Biden has had a relatively thin schedule in the final stretch of the campaign, visiting just three states in the past seven days, including Tennessee for the final presidential debate. This week, he’s slated to deliver his closing message with a speech in Georgia, a traditionally red-leaning state where Democrats feel they have an opening due to President Donald Trump’s struggles in the polls.
In other election news:
Battle for the Senate
In focus: Mississippi
The latest national polls