Biden campaign: Meadows agreeing virus is mostly ‘harmless’ shows ‘rotten values’ of Trump administration

Greg Nash

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign blasted White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Monday for agreeing with President Trump’s characterization of 99 percent of coronavirus cases as “harmless.”

“Donald Trump has had over six months to stop abysmally failing the American people during this historic public health crisis. But even though over 132,000 Americans have lost their lives and tens of millions have lost their jobs due to his unprecedented negligence and incompetence, he has surrendered to the coronavirus and, for the sake of his own optics, is outright lying to the nation about the extreme threat of COVID-19 while undermining testing,” the Biden campaign’s rapid response director, Andrew Bates, said in a statement.

“His White House is even telling Americans that they simply need to ‘live with it.’ It’s a tragic commentary on the rotten values and dangerousness of this administration that listening to the president and his top staffer could literally compromise even more American lives than their malpractice has already taken. And 1 percent of America is 3.2 million people,” Bates added.

Trump, who has downplayed recent spikes in coronavirus cases, has been scrutinized for saying during his Fourth of July address that 99 percent of COVID-19 cases are “totally harmless.”

“Likewise, testing — there were no tests for a new virus, but now we have tested over 40 million people,” Trump said during his remarks at the White House. “But by so doing, we show cases, 99 percent of which are totally harmless. Results that no other country will show, because no other country has testing that we have — not in terms of the numbers or in terms of the quality.”

Meadows defended Trump’s comments during an appearance on “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning, saying they were substantiated by statistics, although he did not cite details.

“I don’t even know that it’s a generalization,” Meadows said “When you start to look at all the [statistics] and all the numbers that we have, the amount of testing that we have, the vast majority of people are safe from this.”

The U.S. has seen nearly 2.9 million cases of the virus and 130,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is closer to a 4.5 percent mortality rate.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn on Sunday declined to comment on Trump’s claim, but urged Americans to take the threat seriously.

“We must institute these public health measures. We cannot back off from those,” Hahn said on CNN. “It is critically important for Americans to follow those guidelines and to protect the most vulnerable.”

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Joe Biden Mark Meadows mortality rates
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