As Donald Trump’s fourth press secretary in three years, Kayleigh McEnany has some big shoes to fill in a job that requires the skills of both a whirling dervish and a Rapunzel to spin the president’s lies, gaffes, and purposeful misinformation into political gold for a president who tries to gild every turd that he excretes.
She has to match the performance of Sean Spicer who — with a straight face, no less — claimed that Trump’s inauguration attracted “the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period, both in-person and around the globe,” despite the embarrassing ariel photos proving quite the contrary.
She also has to prevaricate as well as Sarah Huckabee Sanders who managed to claim that Trump never paid hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal to keep quiet about their “alleged” affairs, despite the fact that Trump admitted to having made the payments.
Take her latest defense of the administration’s record on coronavirus testing versus that of South Korea, a country that saw its first case of COVID-19 on the same day that the U.S, had its first reported case.
President @realDonaldTrump's whole-of-America approach has drastically increased testing capacity ⬇️
While South Korea has tested 11 per 100,000, the United States has tested 17 per 100,000.
We have tested DOUBLE the number of any other country!
— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) April 28, 2020
Glenn Kessler, the chief fact-checker for The Washington Post, provided the explanation as to why McEnany’s tweet is so misleading.
The missing context: Both countries got 1st case same day, Jan. 21. South Korea acted quickly, ramped up testing and stopped the spread. 5 deaths/million people. The USA acted slowly on testing, and failed to stop the spread. 173 deaths/million — and counting. https://t.co/OWFSFQZr6g
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) April 28, 2020
The White House studiously avoided even mentioning the per capita testing rates for the virus— preferring to simply hype the raw number of tests conducted — until testing ramped up only recently to a per capita level that wasn’t horribly embarrassing to the administration.
As to the per capita death rate, there’s been not a peep from the administration on that statistic.
It looks like Kayleigh McEnany will more than measure up to her antecedents in the role of Trump’s primary spinmeister.
In her honor, we’ll dedicate this song to her wondrous skills at turning misinformation into political currency for her boss.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.