A senior aide to President Donald Trump has conceded that the US is “not going to control the pandemic”.
Instead White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Covid-19 could only be defeated by “mitigation areas” like vaccines and therapeutics.
His remarks come as coronavirus cases surge in the US, nine days before the presidential election.
Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden said the White House was waving “the white flag of defeat”.
He added that Mr Meadows’ comments showed that the Trump administration had “given up on their basic duty to protect the American people”.
In an interview with CNN, Mr Meadows said control of the virus was not a realistic goal because “it is a contagious virus just like the flu”.
About 225,000 Americans have died since the pandemic began, the highest figure of any country.
The US recorded 83,718 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University, just short of the record 83,757 reported on Friday. Previously, the highest number of reported infections in a single day was 77,362 on 16 July.