“We will not control the epidemic. We will control the fact that we are getting vaccines, treatments and other areas of mitigation,” Meadows told CNN reporter Jake Taber on the “State of the Union” program.
Pressed by Taber about why the United States could not control the epidemic, Meadows said: “Because it is a virus contagious like influenza.” He added that the Trump administration is “making efforts to contain it.”
“What we need to do is make sure we have the right mitigating factors, whether it’s treatments, vaccines or treatments, to make sure people don’t die from this,” Meadows said.
But with concerns mounting that more people in Pence’s orbit may have positive results in the coming days, the vice president, who tested negative on Sunday, is not planning to self-quarantine and will continue his campaign as the election date approaches.
“I spoke to the Vice President last night at midnight and I can tell you what he’s doing is wearing a mask, social distancing, and when he gets up to speak, he’ll take off the mask and put it back on,” Meadows said. . “He wears a mask as it relates to this particular thing because doctors have advised him to do so.”
Meadows also argued that Pence would continue with the travel plans because he is “a core employee.”
“I am not saying that he is not campaigning, I am saying that this is only part of what he is doing, and as we look at that, the ‘core staff’, whether it is the vice president of the United States or someone else, has him to keep going.”
Pence, who is known to rarely wear a mask while flying Air Force One, flew to Florida on Saturday to participate in campaign rallies in Lakeland and Tallahassee. The Vice President walked across the tarmac from the 2nd Marine Corps in a mask and boarded Air Force One about an hour later than scheduled.
Unmasked, Pence exited Air Force One in Florida as he galloped up the stairs and ran across the runway, pumping his fists as he approached the platform.
An official Kevin Liptak told a CNN reporter on Sunday that Pence is expected to campaign every day through Election Day and those plans remain in place for now.
After visiting North Carolina later on Sunday, the vice president will travel to Minnesota on Monday and return to North and South Carolina on Tuesday. It is also expected to return to the upper Midwest this week. The official said Pence will continue with the test, but that, like Trump, he still plans to stay on the road every day for the next week.
There are at least 8,575,000 cases of coronavirus in the United States, and at least 224,800 Americans have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.
This story is disabled and will be updated.
CNN’s Kevin Liptak, Caitlan Collins, Jeremy Diamond, Daniela Diaz and Betsy Klein contributed to this report.