THE NEUTRAL ZONE
President Donald Trump insisted Monday that he hadn’t given up on beating the coronavirus one day after his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, told CNN “we’re not going to control the pandemic.” “We’re rounding the turn,” Trump said. “We’re doing great.”
However, Meadows’ comments came as the virus hit the White House again, this time infecting members of Vice President Mike Pence’s staff, including his chief of staff. The virus also set a single-day record on Friday with 83,000 new confirmed cases and reports of deaths were on the rise as well. The Dow Jones also plummeted 800 points Monday after the numbers of new cases were released.
The White House walked back Meadows’ comments, with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, going on Fox & Friends hours later to say Trump’s plan was to defeat the virus. Meadows on Monday rejected the notion that Trump had given up, stating “we’re going to defeat the virus,” but then he also said, “We will try to contain it as best we can, but…we need to make sure that we have therapeutics and vaccines.” Still, Trump’s opponent, Joe Biden, pounced on Meadow’s comments, releasing a statement that called Meadow’s comments not a slip “but a candid acknowledgement.” “They’ve given up on their basic duty to protect the American people,” Biden said in the statement.
Pence skipped the recommended public health quarantine to continue the Trump campaign’s blistering pace in the coming days, calling himself essential personnel and adding he had tested negative so far. But he did make concessions such as agreeing not to greet supporters, leaving after he makes his remarks and forgoing the vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett Monday evening. Trump also said the celebration for Barrett Monday evening would be muted after concerns about a party were raised because the last event held for her turned into a superspreader.
Trump Deflects Question On Biden’s Criticism Of His Coronavirus Response, Claims Biden Is ‘Waving The White Flag On Life’ — Daily Caller – 10/26/2020
President Donald Trump claimed Democrat nominee Joe Biden had waved a “white flag on life” after the Biden campaigned released a statement criticizing the administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
With one week left, Trump team rolls out new campaign message: Let the coronavirus win – Salon – 10/26/2020
In the last week before Election Day, Donald Trump and his team have decided the best possible message on the coronavirus pandemic is the same one Trump wanted back in the spring.
Infection of Pence Aides Raises New Questions About Trump’s Virus Response — New York Times – 10/26/2020
“Covid, Covid. Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid,” President Trump groused at a rally in North Carolina on Saturday, expressing dismay that the deadly coronavirus pandemic had come to dominate the final days of his struggling re-election campaign. He made up a scenario: “A plane goes down, 500 people dead, they don’t talk about it. ‘Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid.’”
Trump’s Message of Covid-19 Happy Talk Amounts to Surrender – The Nation – 10/26/2020
Citing his own bout with the coronavirus, Trump claimed that new therapeutic drugs amounted to a cure. “I can tell you from personal experience, I was in the hospital,” Trump said. “I had it and I got better.”
Trump says White House celebration for Barrett confirmation won’t be a big one – Politico – 10/26/2020
President Donald Trump insisted an outdoor celebration for the impending confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Monday evening would not be a large one, after a coronavirus outbreak swept the president’s inner circle in the days following the Rose Garden announcement of her nomination.
The 2020 campaign closes on the coronavirus – NBC News – 10/26/2020
The October surprise in this presidential election hasn’t been the Supreme Court vacancy. Or Hunter Biden. Or what Joe Biden said at Thursday’s debate about transitioning away from oil. Instead, it’s been the coronavirus.