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

Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenExpanding child tax credit could lift 4 million children out of poverty: analysis Maria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back MORE slammed White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsHead of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report The Hill's Morning Report - Dems to go-it-alone on infrastructure as bipartisan plan falters Trump, allies pressured DOJ to back election claims, documents show 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 TrumpMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat 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. 

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“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.

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“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 TapperPolice investigating death of TV anchor who uncovered Clinton tarmac meeting as suicide Mississippi governor: Biden goal of 70 percent of US vaccinated by July 4 is 'arbitrary' Energy secretary: Adversaries have capability of shutting down US power grid 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.