This is a darkening period in the progress of the coronavirus pandemic as infections and deaths spike all over the United States and Europe. But Admiral Brett Giroir, the Assistant Secretary for Health in the Trump administration, says we are not helpless. On Monday, Giroir reminded Americans that by wearing masks, keeping distance from each other and washing our hands, we can keep the pandemic under control until a vaccine is available.

Strangely, that is the opposite of what White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the day before. In a television interview, Meadows insisted that the coronavirus cannot be controlled, implying that doing anything as silly as wearing a mask is a waste of time. Judging by the rising number of White House staffers coming down with COVID-19, Meadows and the folks in charge at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue definitely do not have things under control and do not care to even try.

Meadows’ boss, the president, is traveling the country telling his unmasked supporters that everyone is tired of talking about the pandemic and, besides, there’s no real problem because a vaccine is about to miraculously become available – maybe even before Election Day!

President Donald Trump’s number two, Vice President Mike Pence, the guy who is supposed to be in charge of the administration’s COVID-19 response, is also out on the campaign trail, even though medical professionals say he should be in quarantine because some of his closest staffers have been hit with the disease.

With this kind of irresponsible leadership, the White House has become a spooky place where, just in time for Halloween, a pandemic stalks the halls and the Oval Office is haunted by frightening men who refuse to wear masks.

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