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Buttigieg says White House is “still in denial about” COVID-19 pandemic as VP debate looms

The coronavirus pandemic will play a central role in Americans being able to “really see the difference” between the Biden-Harris campaign and the Trump White House, said former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg as both campaigns make final preparations for the October 7 vice presidential debate.

Buttigieg, who was seen Monday in the lobby of a hotel where Senator Kamala Harris is preparing for her debate against Vice President Mike Pence, accused the White House of not wanting to “face reality” in the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Trump returned to the White House after three days at Walter Reed where he was treated for COVID-19. As virus-related fatalities in the U.S. soared above 210,000, Buttigieg said the White House “seems to still be in denial” about the pandemic. 

Kamala Harris will have to contrast that messaging by showing it knows “what it will actually take to confront this pandemic that’s now

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A White House Long in Denial Confronts Reality

Ms. Hicks, a longtime aide who is one of the president’s closest advisers, was more concerned, colleagues said. She took more precautions than most others and sometimes wore a mask in meetings.

Colleagues said that newcomers to Mr. Trump’s orbit, like Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, never wore a mask in his presence, in what was interpreted by other staff members as an attempt to please the new boss.

As the months progressed, there were so few reported virus cases in the White House — a valet to the president, a top aide to the vice president and Robert C. O’Brien, the national security adviser, all tested positive — that aides to the president grew even less concerned.

By June, the month before Mr. O’Brien tested positive, the White House had already stopped conducting temperature checks for people entering the complex. Only those aides who were interacting directly

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