In response to the White House chief of staff Mark Meadows saying the US is "not going to control" the coronavirus pandemic, Independent Sen. Angus King said that’s “unconditional surrender.”
“Remember, I don't know, five or six months ago, the President said, ‘this is war. I'm a wartime president?’ Yesterday was unconditional surrender,” King, who caucuses with the Democrats, said. “It was basically waving the white flag, saying, ‘we can't control it, there's nothing you can do.’ And that's nonsense. Of course, they can control it.”
He cited the US CDC guidelines on wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing for stopping the spread of the virus, and he blamed the White House for inconsistent messaging.
“If that had been the consistent message from the White House from the beginning, when we knew those were [the things] we had to do, and in the meantime, had they developed a really strong testing program, there would probably be 50 to 100,000 fewer deaths. We would be looking like other countries that are having surges but nothing like what we're having. And like I say, yesterday was the moment that the White House surrendered to the virus."
Cases are surging across the country and nearly 225,000 Americans have died from the virus.
“Maine is a good example of how it can work. Our governor, Janet Mills, was very tough, took a huge amount of flack in terms of how we dealt with the pandemic,” Sen. King added. “Here's the bottom line. And if the Trump folks had figured this out, they’d be in a lot better shape right now… We're closer [getting] back our economy to normal because we did these simple things and our governor, as I say, took a lot of heat but stood up and did it right.”