Harris slams Trump chief of staff for saying U.S. won’t contain COVID-19

By: - October 26, 2020 6:40 am

Sen. Kamala Harris at a rally for former Vice President Joe Biden in Detroit, March 9, 2020 | Andrew Roth

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris said in Detroit Sunday that the President Donald Trump administration is “admitting defeat” in containing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The comment came after White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNN earlier in the day that “we’re not going to control the pandemic.”

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows | Wikimedia Commons

Meadows, asked by host Jake Tapper why the country wouldn’t control the pandemic, said “because it is a contagious virus, just like the flu.”

Harris, a U.S. senator from California, also said Vice President Mike Pence should not continue traveling to states throughout the country to campaign after it was reported on Saturday that several of his aides tested positive for COVID-19, including at least one who Pence is considered a close contact with.

“He should be following the guidelines,” Harris said. “We’re doing it; I think that we have modeled the right and good behavior, and they should take our lead.”

The White House said that the vice president can continue with his campaign schedule as planned because he is essential personnel. 

Harris made several stops throughout Southeast Michigan, including speaking at a church service in Southfield, canvass kickoffs in Troy and Detroit, a polling location in Detroit and a car rally in Pontiac.

Harris promoted Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as the best candidate to take on several crises, including COVID-19, racial injustice and climate change.

“Just look at where we are, guys. We’ve got so many crises going on at one time in our country,” Harris said. “Just look at where we are.”

Harris said that Biden will listen to scientists to make decisions.


“Joe Biden says. ‘Let’s embrace the facts and the science, and deal with this,’ understanding that we as a species need to be able to breathe clean air and drink clean water – hello, Flint,” Harris said.

Harris added, “The president of the United States, who is also the commander in chief, said ‘science doesn’t know.’ What, what is that?” Harris said. “Well, science does know, Mr. President – you don’t know.”

Trump will travel to Michigan on Tuesday for a rally in Lansing. Pence was in the state on Thursday for a rally in Waterford Township. Three of Trump’s children, Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric have done recent campaign stops in Michigan.

The Biden campaign deployed Lizzo and Doug Emhoff, Harris’ husband, to the state on Friday.

Election Day is Nov. 3, but early voting has already started in Michigan. More than 1.5 million Michigan residents had already returned their absentee ballots as of Monday out of the nearly 3 million that had requested them. 

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Andrew Roth
Andrew Roth

Andrew Roth is a regular contributor to the Michigan Advance. He has been covering Michigan policy and politics for three years across a number of publications and studies journalism at Michigan State University.