POST 60. November 7, 2020. “White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has tested positive for the coronavirus….” (A)

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“Meadows was last seen by reporters on election night, when Trump gave a defiant speech to supporters packed into the East Room of the White House. Meadows walked into the room ahead of Trump’s adult children just ahead of his remarks….

Meadows, who infrequently wore face masks, traveled extensively with Trump in the late stages of his campaign as he raced across swing states. He was seen in close quarters with most of Trump’s senior staff as well as with Vice President Mike Pence. He also joined Trump for an Election Day visit to Trump’s campaign headquarters in Arlington, Va..

Trump has long undermined guidance even from his own administration regarding pandemic protocols, including social distancing and mask-wearing. The president continued to hold massive campaign rallies where most supporters packed close together and did not wear masks.” (B)

“During the pandemic, Mr. Meadows has encouraged Mr. Trump’s desire to minimize the threat of the virus and focus instead on the economy. He was dismissive of mask-wearing in the White House, and wore one only very sporadically as he traveled with the president or during events in the Oval Office.

Like Mr. Trump, Mr. Meadows often mocked reporters who wore masks around him, saying the face coverings muffled their voices. A video clip of Mr. Meadows refusing to give a statement to reporters at the Capitol because they asked him to wear his mask was widely shared across social media.

He has also been among the West Wing officials who have favored minimizing the public appearances of Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, who has issued far more dire warnings about the threat of the virus than Mr. Trump has wanted to have publicly declared.

In the waning days of the presidential campaign, Mr. Meadows made unwanted headlines when he acknowledged during a television interview that the government would not be able “control” the pandemic. Critics and Mr. Trump’s political rivals seized on the comment as evidence that the administration had given up on fighting the virus.

“We are not going to control the pandemic,” Mr. Meadows told Jake Tapper, the host of “State of the Union” on CNN. “We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas.”… (C)

“Meadows reportedly informed several advisers of his COVID-19 diagnosis after Election Day. Meadows was in the White House on Tuesday night with Trump, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr. and others, and attended a party there that had hundreds in attendance…

Meadows, who was a Republican congressman from North Carolina before becoming chief of staff in March, remained physically close with Trump through the president’s own case of COVID-19 last month, often working in the same room with Trump while he was being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. During that time, Meadows defended speaking with reporters without a mask despite having been in the room with Trump.

In June, Meadows teased reporters for wearing masks on Capitol Hill. He has repeatedly refused to wear one, going against the advice of the nation’s top health officials.” (D)

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