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White House admits report that listed ‘ending’ COVID pandemic as Trump accomplishment was ‘poorly worded’

The White House acknowledged on Wednesday that a report touting the “ending of the COVID-19 pandemic” as one of the Trump administration’s accomplishments was “poorly worded.”

“I think that was poorly worded,” White House communications director Alyssa Farah said on Fox News. “The intent was to say that it is our goal to end the virus.”

On Tuesday, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy published a 62-page report outlining what it called “highlights” in “Advancing America’s Global Leadership in Science & Technology” over the past four years. The “ending of the COVID-19 pandemic” was among them. 

The pandemic has not ended. 

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses thousands of supporters during a campaign rally at Capital Region International Airport October 27, 2020 in Lansing, Michigan. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
President Trump at a campaign rally in Lansing, Mich., on Tuesday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Trump has repeatedly sought to downplay the seriousness of the virus while defending his handling of the pandemic. In the most recent Yahoo News/YouGov poll, 62 percent of Americans identified “managing COVID” as a “major failure” of the administration. Exactly half that number listed it as a “major accomplishment.”

As cases continue to surge in the Upper Midwest, including states Trump is expected to win easily, the president has complained that the media is too focused on covering the outbreak rather than his accomplishments.

“Covid, Covid, Covid is the unified chant of the Fake News Lamestream Media,” he tweeted Wednesday. “They will talk about nothing else until November 4th, when the Election will be (hopefully!) over. Then the talk will be how low the death rate is, plenty of hospital rooms, & many tests of young people.”

More than 226,000 Americans have died of complications related to COVID-19, and more than 8.6 million have been infected since the outbreak began.

And health officials in several states, including Idaho, Texas and Utah, are reporting that hospitals are at or above capacity.

Trump has also falsely said the United States is “rounding the corner” on the coronavirus. Last week the country set a new daily record for coronavirus cases, with 83,757 on Oct. 23.

On Fox, Farah tried to explain the president’s statement.

“We’re still in the midst of the pandemic,” she said. “We’re turning the corner, and what we mean by that is, we’re rushing therapeutics, we’re in the best place to treat the virus that we’ve ever been in.”

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White House lists ending Covid-19 pandemic as an accomplishment despite cases spiking to record levels



a man wearing glasses: TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump leaves after a Hispanic Heritage Month event in the East Room of the White House October 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. President Trump invited over 200 Hispanic business, community, and faith leaders, and guests from across the country to join in the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)


© Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT – US President Donald Trump leaves after a Hispanic Heritage Month event in the East Room of the White House October 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. President Trump invited over 200 Hispanic business, community, and faith leaders, and guests from across the country to join in the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

The White House included ending the coronavirus pandemic on a list of the Trump administration’s science and technology accomplishments, despite nearly half a million Americans tested positive for Covid-19 in just the last week.

A White House Office of Science and Technology Policy news release made the claim in announcing a document highlighting the administration’s science and technology achievements over the past four years.

“Highlights include: ENDING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC,” the news release sent to reporters read. “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.”

When asked for comment on including ending the pandemic among the administration’s first term accomplishments, office spokeswoman Kristina Baum pointed to the full report.

“The great work the Trump administration is doing to end the pandemic is a top priority and worthy of highlighting,” she said in an email.

But on Wednesday, White House communications director Alyssa Farah said the release 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,” she added.

The news release comes as the country reports the largest number of daily cases seen to date. The seven-day average of daily new cases reached an all-time high of 68,767 on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The previous record of 67,293 was set July 22.

The abysmal week was marked by the two worst days of daily new cases reported since the pandemic began. More than 83,000 new cases were reported both Friday and Saturday, and the seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases has soared 23% in the past week, according to Johns Hopkins data on Monday. The seven-day average of new tests performed, meanwhile, has risen only 2.87% over the past week, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

The President has repeatedly, falsely, blamed the increase in cases on an increase in testing.

New cases are also being seen within the administration itself. At least five aides to Vice President Mike Pence, including his bodyman and his chief of staff, Marc Short, tested positive for coronavirus in recent days, sources told CNN.

The internal report that the news release was describing did not say that the Covid-19 pandemic is over. It merely touted the administration’s various actions to fight it.

“Since the start of the pandemic, the Administration has taken several actions to engage scientists in academia, industry, and government to understand and defeat this

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