The latest on the coronavirus pandemic

Cheryl Sanders
October 26, 2020

Trump's repeated claim that the country had turned the corner on the coronavirus was undercut by news that members of Vice President Mike Pence's inner circle had tested positive - and by a senior Trump advisor who said the White House was "not going to control" the pandemic.

Marc Short, the chief of staff for vice-president Mike Pence, has tested positive for coronavirus.

This past weekend, Pence and his wife Karen both tested negative for coronavirus.

After consulting with the White House Medical Unit, Pence meant to maintain his schedule "in accordance with the CDC guidelines for essential personnel", said Devin O'Malley, a Pence spokesman.

Addressing supporters in New Hampshire on Sunday, President Trump repeated his claim that the USA was turning a corner with the pandemic, despite recording record numbers of infections and rising hospital admissions.

Pence plans to continue to operate as an essential worker and plans to travel again on Sunday.

The comments from President Donald Trump's chief of staff come as coronavirus cases surge across the United States and the administration continues to consistently disregard advice from government health experts to wear masks, social distance and avoid large gatherings as a way to curb the spread of the virus.

"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 (later) put it back on", Meadows said.

"We are coming around", he said".

On Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) took aim at Pence, who heads the White House coronavirus task force, for "inexplicably" maintaining his campaign schedule and intending to preside over the Senate chamber on Monday evening over Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation vote amid a COVID-19 outbreak among the VP's staff. Trump had tested positive for the virus on October 2 but was later cleared to return to campaigning after being briefly hospitalised. It added the vice president tested negative and will make no changes to his schedule.

"Even gold standard PCR tests don't detect the virus in early stages when levels are low", he tweeted on Sunday.

"It's just an insult to everybody who has been working in public health and public health response", she said. "I also find it really harmful and disrespectful to the people going to the rally" and the people on Pence's own staff who will accompany him. "Campaign events are not essential".

Joshua Sharfstein, vice-dean for public health practice at Johns Hopkins University, said he did not believe Mr Pence should be making public appearances.

The United States on Friday registered 84,244 new coronavirus cases and 79,852 cases on Saturday, the nation's largest daily totals since the beginning of a pandemic that has killed about 225,000 Americans and left millions of people jobless. He has defended the president's actions amid the COVID-19 crisis.

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Londonderry, N.H. He has used his own experience, and the fact that his teenage son, Barron, was asymptomatic, to portray the pandemic as overblown by Democrats and the media.

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