White House suddenly decides it didn't end the COVID pandemic after all


Perhaps they noticed that cases of coronavirus are spiking across the country.

A White House spokesperson on Wednesday walked back a statement claiming Donald Trump's first-term accomplishments included "ending the COVID-19 pandemic."

Alyssa Farah, White House communications director, said a Tuesday news release from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy was "poorly worded."

"The intent was to say that it is our goal to end the virus. But what I would say is this: because of the President's leadership, we are rounding the corner on the virus," said Farah.

Under the highlight of "ending the COVID-19 pandemic," the release said: "From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the administration has taken decisive actions to engage scientists and health professionals in academia, industry and government to understand, treat, and defeat the disease."

But Farah now says Trump does not believe the pandemic is over.

As the White House issued the correction, cases of coronavirus are continuing to spike across multiple states, with the country hitting its highest amount of daily cases on Friday since the start of the pandemic, the Washington Post reported.

States including Utah, Texas, and Wisconsin have set up overflow hospital units to cope with the rapid surge of COVID-19 patients over the past several weeks.

Trump has repeatedly downplayed the danger of coronavirus since the beginning of the public health crisis.

At a Feb. 10 rally in New Hampshire, he said, "Looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away."

Eight months later, during a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire this week, Trump again claimed that the pandemic was "going to be over soon."

"Now we have the best tests, and we are coming around, we're rounding the turn," he said. "We have the vaccines, we have everything. We're rounding the turn. Even without the vaccines, we're rounding the turn, it's going to be over."

After recovering from the coronavirus himself, Trump said, "Don't be afraid of it. … Don't let it dominate your lives," a statement that frontline workers called "reckless."

Across the country, Americans disapprove of Trump's handling of the pandemic.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll released Wednesday found a majority of registered voters in the battleground state of Wisconsin disapprove of Trump's handling of the pandemic by 20 points, 59% to 39%. That figure doubled from 54% to 44% last month, according to the poll. Conversely, they trust former Vice President Joe Biden over Trump to handle it 57% to 37%, up from a previous closer  49% to 42%.

Wisconsin has been suffering from a 53% increase in average daily cases over the last two weeks, with a 112% rise in deaths and a record number of hospitalizations, the poll noted.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.