That’s White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in a heated exchange on CNN over the coronavirus and Vice President Mike Pence’s actions in the wake of his chief of staff and several other members of his inner circle testing positive in recent days.
“Because it is a contagious virus just like the flu,” Meadows said when pressed by CNN host Jake Tapper on why the U.S. won’t be able to control the spread. “We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas.”
Tapper took issue with the vice president campaigning after the outbreak in his inner circle, but Meadows countered by saying he’s taking all the necessary precautions.
“I spoke to the vice president last night at midnight and I can tell you that what he is doing is wearing a mask, socially distancing and when he goes up to speak he will take the mask off and put it back on,” Meadows said. “He is wearing a mask as it relates to this particular thing because the doctors have advised him to do that.” He added that Pence will continue with his travel plans because he is considered to be “essential personnel.”
Watch this clip from the interview:
At this point, almost 225,000 people across the the country have died from the coronavirus, according to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University . There are at least 8,575,000 cases in the U.S. as the numbers continue to surge.