Chad Wolf, the acting Secretary of Homeland Security, defended the COVID-19 response of the Donald Trump White House and the president’s Coronavirus Task Force during an appearance on Meet the Press on Sunday. The acting secretary also declared that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy (DACA), which was temporarily upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this week, is unlawful.
Wolf’s statements regarding the novel coronavirus come in the wake of a rally held by President Donald Trump in Tulsa, Oklahoma, amid a surge of confirmed cases in the state.
As reported previously by The Inquisitr, multiple Trump campaign staffers in Oklahoma tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the event. Attendants at the rally largely weren’t wearing masks, and little heed was paid to the concept of social distancing.
The latter issue was addressed specifically by Wolf during his Meet the Press appearance. In response to a question from host Chuck Todd about a perceived rebuffing of CDC coronavirus guidelines, Wolf noted that Oklahoma has reached a phase of its reopening during which public gatherings like Trump’s rally are allowed. He also indicated that the decision to wear a mask is a personal choice.
“I think what we saw particularly in Tulsa when you talk about the president’s rally is a state in a Phase 3 reopening, so activities like this are allowed,” he said. “It’s also a personal choice that people are making on the face coverings. And where you are within that phase. So, again, it’s very specific to individual states.”
In addressing the White House’s broader COVID-19 response, Wolf maintained that its Coronavirus Task Force had done a “great job” of “getting the country back up and running.”
“We took a number of dramatic steps, the president did, in limiting the spread or the seeding of that virus here in the U.S.” he proclaimed. Wolf further opined that the task force has worked “day and night” to ensure that the U.S. has the resources, testing capabilities, personal protective equipment and guidance for state and local leaders needed to safely reopen the American economy.
During the course of the interview, Wolf also addressed DACA, saying that at no point in the Supreme Court’s decision was it stated that the policy was a legal one. The decision was penned by Chief Justice John Roberts for the court majority.
He further assessed that the 5-4 decision came simply as a result of problematic rationale and procedures used by the administration in its attempt to end the Obama-era protections for young, undocumented immigrants, colloquially known as “Dreamers.”
“As the acting secretary of Homeland Security, I don’t have the luxury to ignore the law. The program’s unlawful. We need to solve it,” he said.