A senior aide to President Donald Trump has conceded that the US is “not going to control the pandemic”.
Instead White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Covid-19 must be defeated by “mitigation areas” like vaccines and therapeutics.
His comments come as coronavirus cases flood in the US, nine days before the nation’s official political race.
US Vice-President Mike Pence has continued to campaign despite positive tests in his group.
Mr. Pence and his wife both tried negative on Sunday, his office said.
Talking with CNN, Mr. Meadows said control of the infection was not a realistic goal because “it is a contagious infection simply like this flu”.
In a statement responding to the interview, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said the White House was waving “the white flag of defeat”.
He added that Mr Meadows’ comments showed the Trump administration had “given up on their basic duty to protect the American people”.
Some 225,000 Americans have died since the pandemic began, the highest figure of any country.
What’s Going On The Campaign Trail?
Addressing supporters in New Hampshire on Sunday, President Trump repeated his claim that the US was turning a corner with the pandemic, despite recording record numbers of infections and rising emergency clinic admissions.
“We’re coming around, we’re rounding the turn, we have the vaccines, we have everything. Even without the vaccines, we’re rounding the turn,” the president told supporters, many of them not wearing face masks or observing social distancing.
No vaccine has yet finished clinical trials.
Mr. Trump – who campaigned in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin on Saturday – is scheduled to appear at two rallies in Pennsylvania on Monday, before making his way to Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska on Tuesday.
His running mate Mike Pence held a rally on Sunday afternoon in Kinston, North Carolina.
Mr. Pence has continued campaigning despite being a nearby contact of Marc Short, his head of staff, who has test positive for Covid-19.
Media reports say Pence adviser Marty Obst and at least two other members of staff have also recently tested positive. The cases have raised fresh questions about the White House’s Covid-19 protocol, three weeks after President Trump was admitted to hospital with the virus before making a recovery.
Joe Biden had no public events scheduled for Sunday. He attended church and later briefly appeared at a virtual show hosted by his campaign.
In an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes programme, which aired on Sunday, Mr Biden said that President Trump still had a chance of winning the election even though he is trailing him by an average of eight points in national polls.
He also accused the president of trying to delegitimize the election by casting doubt over the integrity of mail-in ballots.
Mr. Trump has been jetting between key swing states as of late. Mr. Biden’s lead over him is much narrower in a few of these states, which will choose the election.
How Is Coronavirus Affecting The Election?
America’s coronavirus outbreak has become a key policy battleground ahead of the 3 November election, and added to a surge in postal and right on time face to face casting a voting.
Around 59 million ballots have just been cast, a record figure generally spurred by the pandemic.
Speaking to the BBC on Sunday, top US infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci said a Covid-19 vaccine could be available in the US before the end of the year if one proved to be “safe and effective”, but that the first doses would go to people in order of priority.
He said it would take “a while into 2021” before the vaccine was all the more widely available.
This news is originally posted on BBC