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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany

Photo by: George Skidmore

The New York Times reported that hundreds of businesses trading on the financial markets received billions in loans from the government as part of COVID-19 relief, despite the program being targeted to small business.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was asked about the problem in an interview with Fox News on Monday.

From the April 27 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:

ED HENRY, co-host: Kayleigh, I want to follow up on Sandra [Smith] because she asked a good question about the Paycheck Protection Program. It's something a lot of our viewers have been paying attention.
We've been getting letters for a couple of weeks now from some folks, and I understand there's going to be good news and bad news. People are going to deal with paperwork issues. This happens all the time. But you just made the assertion a moment ago that it's helping a lot of small businesses.
Front page story in the New York Times, I'm sure you saw about how a lot of large companies are getting this money whereas mom and pop shops are not. One of the issues that could clear all this up is if you were transparent and released the list, disclosed which companies are actually getting money and which are not.
Will you finally do that — disclose which companies are getting this PPP money?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY: Look, let me be very clear here, and I'm glad that you asked this. Point-three percent of loans that have gone out, 0.3%, have been to the order of five million or more, meaning bigger companies.
The vast majority, as I noted, 1 million of the 1.6 million loans that went out, were companies with 10 or fewer employees. That is what this program is designed to do, that is who it is helping, and the New York Times, leave it to them to be wrong, and not just to be wrong, but to be really wrong, because that headline is completely dishonest, doesn't serve the American people across the country trying to get these loans.
And I would also note, a thank you to Whip Steve Scalise who put out a website as we waited for a week for Democrats to get their House in order and come to the table, he opened a website where business owners could come and express their frustration with the delays. I read about a small business owner in Mobile, Alabama, who almost had to do layoffs all of last week as she waited for funding.
So, we got to come together as a country, both parties come together, this is about one thing: the American people, not partisan politics.
HENRY: Wel,l it doesn't sound like you're going to release that list of who's getting the money based on that answer. You're not happy with the New York Times --
MCENANY: We're concerned with getting money to people right now. I mean, look, we're not concerned with cobbling a list together to please the media.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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