It is unsettling when the White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, states in an interview that "We're not going to control the pandemic." This, following months of public health and infectious disease experts warning of "twinfluenza," the simultaneous occurrence of covid-19 and flu season, and the significant risk it will pose many Americans with chronic underlying health conditions. Many experts have warned of rising cases and second and third waves, if strict social distancing and quarantine guidelines were not followed. These predictions have since materialized. And yet, as early as March the administration privately acknowledged the infectivity and risk of a coronavirus pandemic, while downplaying it to the American public.
Later in the same interview, Meadows acknowledged that the administration was "making efforts" to contain the virus, but that they were focusing on making sure people "don't die from this." It is unclear what Meadows meant by this. But perhaps he was referring to pushing through a vaccine, which would now only be possible by ignoring the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) established safety guidelines, and by sidelining science at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.