Biden: Meadows coronavirus remark a 'candid acknowledgement' of Trump strategy 'to wave the white flag'

Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation US records 2,300 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic rises with holidays MORE slammed White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump holds his last turkey pardon ceremony Overnight Defense: Pentagon set for tighter virus restrictions as top officials tests positive | Military sees 11th COVID-19 death | House Democrats back Senate language on Confederate base names Trump administration revives talk of action on birthright citizenship MORE’s remarks Sunday that the U.S. is “not going to control the pandemic.”

Biden labeled Meadows’s comments as a “candid acknowledgement” of President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE’s strategy “to wave the white flag” in a statement released Sunday.

“White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows stunningly admitted this morning that the administration has given up on even trying to control this pandemic, that they’ve given up on their basic duty to protect the American people,” the former vice president said. 


“This wasn’t a slip by Meadows, it was a candid acknowledgment 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,” he continued. “It hasn’t, and it won’t.”

Biden said it was “sadly no surprise” that the coronavirus continues to “rage unchecked across the country and even in the White House itself.”

Vice President Pence's office said several of his aides, including chief of staff Marc Short, tested positive for COVID-19. That follows Trump himself and a dozens of White House staffers or other close contacts being diagnosed with the coronavirus earlier this month.

“The grim reality is that we continue to set records for new cases, and the fact that the head of the White House’s coronavirus task force has an outbreak in his office and yet still refuses to follow CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines shows us exactly why,” Biden said. 

The Democratic nominee called it “particularly outrageous” that studies indicate masks would save lives, including one from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation that said universal masking could save about 100,000 lives in the next few months.


“It’s long past time for President Trump and his administration to listen to the scientists, take action, and finally take seriously the threat of a virus that’s costing thousands of lives each week, shuttering our schools, and forcing millions of Americans out of work,” Biden said.

Meadows earlier Sunday told CNN’s “State of the Union” that “We’re not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations.”

CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperJake Tapper jokes he's retained Giuliani to look into fraud in 'Sexiest Man' election Brennan takes final shot at Trump: 'I leave his fate to our judicial system, his infamy to history, & his legacy to a trash heap' Biden transition adviser: Legal action for ascertainment of win 'isn't our preference' MORE pushed back, asking, “Why aren’t we going to get control of the pandemic?”

“Because it is a contagious virus just like the flu,” Meadows responded, adding that the administration is “making efforts to contain it.”

Biden's rebuke of Meadows's remarks comes slightly more than a week before the election.