For some truly unfathomable reason, the Trump White House refuses to treat COVID-19 with the seriousness it deserves. In addition to the administration’s countless shortcomings in implementing effective measures to test for and contain the virus, we have also witnessed profound personal irresponsibility on the parts of the president and his closest cronies.
Trump himself has on numerous occasions refused to wear a face mask while attending public events despite the fact that medical experts agree such a simple precaution is one of the best ways to avoid transmitting or contracting the disease. He did it while meeting with elderly American WW2 veterans and he did it while touring a mask factory despite posted signs clearly requiring visitors don masks. Vice President Mike Pence made the same dangerous decision while visiting patients at a Mayo Clinic.
White House Press Secretay Kayleigh McEnany, seemingly taking a page from her boss’s book, has repeatedly declined to don a face mask during her press briefings even as the journalists attending the events make sure to wear their own. Today, she was asked about her decision.
“White House staff yesterday were asked to wear masks around the West Wing except when they were seated at their desks. I can’t help but notice you’re not wearing a mask. What’s the reason for that? Is that a television thing?” a reporter asked her, reasonably implying that it’s a matter of vanity on McEnany’s part.
“No, it’s because I’m distanced from you. You’d probably have a hard time hearing from me right now should I have a mask on and that be muffled,” she said, conveniently ignoring the fact that she had no problem hearing the reporter through his mask.
“I’m delivering information to the American people,” she went on.”I’m an appropriate distance away. I had a negative test today. I had a negative test yesterday and I’m in an okay place.”
The answer, like so many answers from this press secretary, is unconvincing. Even if she is taking the precautions she reeled off, she should be erring on the side of abundant caution. Wearing a mask is a simple, easy way to prevent spreading the virus, something that McEnany should be paying more attention to considering the White House is currently dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 within its own walls.
More than anything, she’s setting a terrible example for the rest of the country.
Reporter: "I can't help but notice you're not wearing a mask. What's the reason for that? Is that a television thing?"
Press. Sec. Kayleigh McEnany: "No, it's because I'm distanced from you." pic.twitter.com/49ORLXIGWq
— The Hill (@thehill) May 12, 2020
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