The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Donald Trump has no plan for stopping COVID-19 from ravaging the country, so he expects the rest of us to simply continue on with our lives — no matter the cost.

But there is a plan in place for him to avoid the virus. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and those around them are frequently being tested for the coronavirus to keep White House leadership safe, even while testing for regular Americans remains inadequate.


Among those who are tested regularly in the president's inner circle is White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, according to the New York Times:

At the White House, Mr. Trump's new press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, reinforced the impression that administration officials were getting preferential treatment when she delivered her first news briefing on Friday — without a mask. She is among the group of senior officials tested weekly, as all assistants and deputy assistants to the president are, an official said on Friday. Aides who are lower in rank are tested based on how often they are in proximity to Mr. Trump.

That's why it was particularly galling on Wednesday during the daily press briefing that she dismissed a suggestion about mass testing the public:

Q Kayleigh, we were just talking about masks. You said, at Honeywell, that the President was told by the folks at Honeywell, as was the team, that they didn't need to wear masks. The reason he was told that was the people who would be interacting with him had all been tested and had been shown to be negative before that took place, I guess. So the President had those circumstances. Obviously, he's the President. But why shouldn't all Americans who go back to work be able to get a test before they do to feel comfortable in their own work environment to be interacting with other individuals?
MS. MCENANY: Yeah, well, let's dismiss a myth about tests right now. If we tested every single American in this country at this moment, we'd have to retest them an hour later, and then an hour later after that. Because at any moment, you could theoretically contract this virus. So the notion that everyone needs to be tested is just simply nonsensical.

In fact, it was her answer that was "nonsensical." If every person in the country were tested, we would be much better off (even if "theoretically" you can contract the virus at any moment). That's because anyone who was asymptomatic but tested positive could go into isolation; many of those people right now are likely working in essential (or even essential) industries and are continuing to spread the virus. If we knew who needed to be isolated and who didn't, we would be on a much easier path toward normalcy.

Of course, nobody thinks we'll have the capacity to test everyone in a single day. But the fact that the White House doesn't realize why it would be good if we could shows a dire lack of understanding about the nature of the crisis.

We won't get even close to a sufficiently robust testing regime without stronger federal guidance. And it seems the leadership of the country is more worried about using tests to keep themselves safe while encouraging the public to believe that testing for the common folks would be a mistake.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Wayne LaPierre, chief executive officer of the National Rifle Association

The gut-wrenching tragedy in Texas has turned into a thoroughly degraded political spectacle of corruption and cowardice. If anyone still wonders why America suffers from gun violence at a level unmatched by any other nation, the answer can be found on gaudy display in Houston. The Republican politicians who obediently kneel at the National Rifle Association's annual gathering there — as well as those too sniveling to show up right now in person but instead on video, like Gov. Greg Abbott — have blood on their hands and money in their pockets.

The crooked gang that has driven the NRA toward bankruptcy through the graft of millions in crony contracts and lavish "expenses" over their decades of self-dealing has greased its political allies, too. At last count the organization has doled out upwards of $100 million over the last few election cycles to its faithful servants, who echo its litany of bogus constitutionalism and absurd alibis against gun safety regulation.

Keep reading... Show less

Kedrick Buie

On August 12, 2017, Sirrena Buie of Birmingham, Alabama talked to her son Kedric. He was incarcerated in a federal prison, United States Penitentiary Atlanta, and called his mother from inside.

The next morning another call came; a prison administrator dialed Sirrena and told her that Kedric had died.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}