Any White House Press Secretary in the administration of Donald Trump — and there have been a lot of them — is judged not on the effectiveness of their skills in transmitting the president’s policies in an easily explainable manner for the public, but by their skills in promulgating his lies with a straight face in front of a room full of by now quite skeptical political correspondents.
By that measure Trump’s latest paid liar, Kayleigh McEnany is doing her job in a manner that will likely be rewarded greatly by conservative media outlets once her time in the White House comes to an end, hopefully by January’s inauguration day or sooner.
Perhaps the White House Press Secretary missed her true calling as a thespian since her job requires incredible acting skills to defend her boss’s ludicrous campaign statements on a daily basis without falling to the ground in paroxysms of laughter or being smitten by a bolt of lightning cast by a truth-loving deity.
Take her award nomination performance today when CNN correspondent Jim Acosta, a frequent bain of this administration, asked her about the massive set of lies that Trump threw out to his mostly maskless virus receptacles at his Ohio pandemic party last night, including the mind-bogglingly unscientific claim that COVID-19 “affects virtually nobody” spoken on the eve of the day that U.S. casualties of the virus crossed the 200,000 threshold.
“It affects elderly people, elderly people with heart problems, and other problems. If they have other problems, that’s what it really affects, that’s it,” Trump said at his rally yesterday. “You know, in some states thousands of people, nobody young. Below the age of 18, like nobody. They have a strong immune system. Who knows? Take your hat off to the young, because they have a hell of an immune system.”
Acosta would have been remiss had he not referenced the president’s conversation with journalist Bob Woodward wherein Trump told the author of the devastating new book Rage in the early days of the outbreak that the virus affects “not just older people, it’s young people, too,” a statement for which Woodward has an audio recording of the president telling him.
After setting up his question with a preface featuring these incriminating contradictory statements from Trump, Acosta asked the press secretary “At 200,000 deaths, shouldn’t the president be telling people the truth about this virus at the rallies about the virus?”
Sadly, no lightning bolt was discharged from the heavens when McEnany responded rapidly with her reflexive reply:
“The President is telling people the truth!” said the press secretary who laughably swore to never tell a lie when she assumed her position.
Acosta was quick to shoot back with a truth bomb.
“No, he isn’t. He’s saying it ‘affects virtually nobody,’ and it doesn’t affect young people. He is not telling the truth,” the CNN reporter said grounding himself in the objective reality that so eludes this administration.
“You are taking the president out of context,” McEnany stated, clarifying that President Trump “was referring to young people.”
“I’m not taking it out of context. If I said he was talking about younger people, then I’m not taking it out of context,” Acosta pushed back in frustration.
“You are taking it out of context because you are making an assertion that he is saying he is not giving critical information when, in fact, he is,” McEnany replied. “He said this ‘You know in some states thousands of people — and they have had nobody young, below the age of 18, like nobody, they have a strong immune system,’” McEnany countered.
The counterintuitive (i.e., false) argument was not good enough for the CNN White House correspondent.
“For the president with 200,000 deaths to go to the rally and say it virtually affects nobody and that in some states it’s not affecting young people, that is glossing over the fact—and really diminishing the fact—that young people can catch this virus and spread it to older people. Younger people can also be sickened and killed by the virus,” Acosta correctly pointed out.
McEnany shifted her semantics to soften the claims of what the president actually said into something that approached an opinion that could arguably be said by someone who wasn’t a compulsive liar or total ignoramus.
“It is not a disease that affects young people in the same way as older people,” McEnany replied, “which is the exact point the president was making last night.”
While that doesn’t explain away Trump’s comments that the COVID-19 virus “affects virtually nobody,” McEnany managed to reveal that the reason that the president feels that 200,000 corpses equal “nobody” is because he feels a sense of accomplishment at limiting the death toll to under two million, as the exchange in the video clip below shows.
McEnany twists herself into a knot trying to defend Trump's lie that coronavirus "affects virtually nobody" pic.twitter.com/aBHdKRmJRE
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 22, 2020
Forget the fact that America would have to experience a disaster with a death toll equal to that of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon for over two months straight to reach the level of fatalities that the coronavirus pandemic has caused in this country.
For the Trump administration, the victims are just a bunch of old people with pre-existing conditions that they’re fighting in court to take away anyway.
Trump’s disastrous COVID pandemic performance just speeds the process up and keeps the Medicare costs down without the benefit cuts that he’s hinted at planning for his second term.
Vote these lying suckers out before we’re all collateral damage!
Original reporting by Coby Hall at Mediaite.
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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.