MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 26th October, 2020) The final full week of the US presidential campaign opened on Sunday with COVID-19 infections surging to record levels, the White House suggesting that lockdowns cannot control the virus and former Vice President Joe Biden accusing President Donald Trump of giving up on efforts to protect the American people.
"We're not going to control the pandemic," White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told CNN. "We are gonna control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas."
Meadows' message came as new COVID-19 cases reached record levels, with Saturday's tally of 83,718 infections barely missing Friday's all-time-high of 83,757, according to Johns Hopkins University. Both days topped the previous daily record of 77,372 new cases, registered on July 16.
Meadows' remarks prompted Biden to issue a statement accusing Trump and his administration of giving up efforts to control the pandemic as the virus continues, in Biden's words, "to rage unchecked across the country and even in the White House itself."
Vice President Mike Pence carried on with plans to campaign in North Carolina on Sunday, despite being exposed to COVID-19 from five staff members who tested positive, including Chief of Staff Marc Short.
Meanwhile, Trump told supporters in the state of New Hampshire that the US is "rounding the turn" on the pandemic, with new therapies and vaccines.
Typical of Trump rallies, thousands bunched together paying no heed to social distancing recommendations, many without facemasks.
POLL SHOWS TRUMP-BIDEN TIE IN 3 BATTLEGROUNDS
POLL BELIES CLAIM TEXAS TILTS TOWARD TRUMP
"Texas is not a battleground state, it's that simple," Perry said, as quoted by the Dallas Morning News.
Biden leads Trump 48%-45% among likely voters, according to a poll by the Morning News on Sunday, within the margin of error but also a 5-point reversal from the newspaper's previous poll in early September.
EARLY VOTING IN US BREAKS RECORDS
With eight full days of campaigning left before the November 3 Election Day, nearly 60 million voters have already cast ballots, either by mail, placing ballots in strategically located drop boxes or in person at early voting sites.