White House Chief of Staff: ‘We Are Not Going to Control the Pandemic’

CNN’s Jake Tapper interviewing White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Sunday morning. Photo: Screencap/CNN

Less than a day after news broke of another outbreak among top Trump administration staff, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows acknowledged in a televised interview that, “We are not going to control the pandemic.”

Meadows, who reportedly tried to keep news of the new White House infections from getting out, appeared on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday morning — and it did not go well. Pressed repeatedly by host Jake Tapper on the administration’s pandemic-response failures and President Trump’s ongoing efforts to dismiss both common-sense precautions as well as the record-setting number of cases being confirmed around the country, Meadows remained defiant, both stammering through his answers while also consistently trying to deflect and leverage the crisis against Joe Biden and the media:

Eventually, Trump’s chief of staff claimed the battle to contain COVID-19 was pointless:

Meadows also tried to defend Mike Pence’s decision to continue campaigning around the country after his chief of staff, whom the vice-president has been in ongoing close contact with, and other Pence aides have tested positive for COVID-19. He insisted, as the White House claimed on Saturday night, that it was okay because Pence was an “essential worker”:

At another point, when pressed on how few people have been wearing masks at Trump’s big rallies in states experiencing uncontrolled spread of the virus, Meadows tried to attack Tapper for not wearing a mask during the interview. Tapper then pointed out that he was the only person in the studio:

Mark Meadows: ‘We Are Not Going to Control the Pandemic’