We might be at "the highest baseline we've ever been" in the US, with an average of 70,000 new coronavirus cases recorded per day and hospitalization and death rates on the rise—but according to the White House science office, the COVID-19 pandemic is over. In a press release Tuesday, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy listed "ending the Covid-19 pandemic" as the top highlight of President Trump's first term in office, Politico and the Hill report. The bullet point claims that "from the outset," 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 four officials on the White House's own coronavirus task force tell the Daily Beast they are not happy with the statement. "It’s mind boggling," says one. "There’s no world in which anyone can think that is true. Maybe the president. But I don’t see how even he can believe that." "The White House is operating on a completely different speed than the rest of the health agencies," says another. "They’ve all but given up on the idea that there is more to do in terms of getting a handle on these new cases that are popping up. The rest of us still view the threat of those cases as the top concern." (Read more coronavirus stories.)