New Press Secretary Got Virus Prediction Dead Wrong

Kayleigh McEnany

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

After the news broke on Tuesday morning that White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham was leaving that position and would be working for First Lady Melania Trump again, a replacement was revealed: Kayleigh McEnany, a 31-year-old spokesperson for President Donald Trump's reelection campaign. McEnany has been a relentless cheerleader for Trump's presidency during her appearances on right-wing media, and one of her most embarrassing claims was surprisingly recent.

When McEnany appeared on Trish Regan's show on Fox Business a little over a month ago, she predicted the coronavirus that is now plaguing the country would not come to the United States.

McEnany told Regan (who has since been fired by Fox Business), "This president will always put America first. He will always protect American citizens. We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here. We will not see terrorism come here. And isn't that refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama?"

McEnany's prediction that the U.S. would escape the destruction of coronavirus was, of course, wildly off base. According to figures reported by researchers at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, more than 12,000 U.S. residents have died from COVID-19. And neither Fox News nor Fox Business is still claiming that mainstream media reports on coronavirus are exaggerated.

Like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and other hosts at Fox News or Fox Business, Regan claimed that warnings about coronavirus were exaggerated and designed to attack or undermine Trump's presidency. During a rant on Monday, March 9, Regan argued that the "liberal media" were "using coronavirus in an attempt to demonize and destroy the president."

Regan asserted, "We've reached a tipping point. The chorus of hate being leveled at the president is nearing a crescendo as Democrats blame him and only him for a virus that originated halfway around the world. This is yet another attempt to impeach the president."

On March 27 — following an outcry over Regan's comments — Fox Business announced that it had "parted ways" with her.

At this point, Fox News and Fox Business hosts acknowledge coronavirus as a threat — not a "hoax." But their messaging is still stridently pro-Trump, praising him as someone who has offered strong leadership during a time of crisis.

On Twitter, McEnany is being lambasted for her February 25 assertions on coronavirus. @Cmcubfan posted, "@kayleighmcenany we will not see Coronavirus here. Gosh she is awful and a perfect companion to Trump…not a single truth passes her lips." And @DCPol tweeted that "because of Trump's complete failure in handling the pandemic, more people will die of coronavirus in the US than any other nation on earth."

Photo by: Gage Skidmore

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