White House Chief of Staff: President Trump not downplaying COVID-19 deaths

FILE – In this June 16, 2020, file photo, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows arrives for an event on police reform, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

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UPDATED 8:39 AM PT — Monday, July 6, 2020

While speaking to reporters Monday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said he doesn’t think a federal mandate on masks is necessary. He noted that a national mandate is “not in order,” adding that it’s up to local governments to determine that.

Currently, the CDC recommends wearing masks and some governors have made masks a requirement in their states.

Meadows also defended President Trump who’s come under fire for saying “99-percent of coronavirus cases are harmless” during comments on the Fourth of July.

“I don’t think it was the president’s intent to downplay that as much as saying, let’s look at the risk and let’s look at it in an appropriate way based on facts and figures,” he stated.

The CDC determined more than a third of coronavirus cases are asymptomatic, while the World Health Organization said the global fatality rate is likely less than one-percent.

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