White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Sunday, local time, in an interview that the U.S. is (quote) "not going to control the pandemic."
He explained that although containment efforts are being made, the government will focus on mitigation factors like vaccines and therapies, knowing that COVID-19 is contagious like the flu.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called the controversial statement a candid acknowledgment of President Donald Trump's strategy to wave the white flag of defeat and hope the virus would simply go away by ignoring it.
Disagreement even came within the Republicans, with Senator John Thune saying that leaders have the responsibility to wear masks and encourage social distancing to stop the virus from spreading.
This comes amid another potential outbreak in the Trump administration.
At least 5 people in Vice President Mike Pence's inner circle have tested positive.
Pence himself reportedly tested negative and will resume his campaign schedule.
Nearly 60 million people have cast early votes in what some are calling the most important election in generations.
New Hampshire was Trump's latest stop in his reelection campaign.
The day before on Saturday, Trump voted for himself in Florida and held rallies in three other states - North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin - before returning to the White House.
He claimed that the nation is turning the corner on COVID-19 and mocked Biden for holding rallies at drive-ins.
Biden spent Saturday in his home state of Pennsylvania, a key battleground, where he slammed Trump for his response to the pandemic.
He said that the U.S. death toll of more than 220-thousand means Trump does not deserve a second term.
Former President Barack Obama also held a drive-in rally in support of Biden in Florida on Saturday.
With no in-person rally scheduled for Sunday, Biden hosted a virtual "I Will Vote Concert".
Meanwhile, his running mate Kamala Harris campaigned in Michigan.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.