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Sunday June 20th, 2021 6:32PM

The Latest: Meadows defends against Biden virus criticism

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the presidential campaign (all times local):

10:15 a.m.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is taking issue with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s criticism that the Trump administration has given up on trying to control the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden had seized on Meadows’ Sunday comments on CNN in which Meadows said “we’re not going to control the pandemic.” Asked why, Meadows said it’s “because it is a contagious virus just like the flu.”

Those comments had produced criticism and at least one news headline saying: “White House gives up on trying to control virus spread.”

On Monday, Meadows tried to do some cleanup. He says, “The only person waving a white flag along with his white mask is Joe Biden."

Meadows says Trump won’t give up until all Americans are safe and the virus is defeated. He says, “We are going to defeat the virus. We are not going to control it. We will try to contain it as best we can.”

Meadows spoke to reporters at the White House on Monday before the Republican president travels to campaign events in the critical battleground state of Pennsylvania.

___

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

President Donald Trump plans to intensify an already breakneck travel schedule in the final full week of the presidential campaign, overlooking a surge of coronavirus cases in the U.S. and a fresh outbreak in his own White House.

Read more:

— House already won? Pelosi thinks so, and reaches for more

— Early vote total exceeds 2016; GOP chips at Dems’ advantage

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