Continuing to debase themselves and the journalism profession, CNN’s Jim Acosta and NBC’s Peter Alexander made Tuesday’s White House Press Briefing all about themselves, fighting with Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany over the coronavirus pandemic under the guise of sorrow over the U.S. crossing 200,000 deaths.
McEnany’s introductory remarks focused on the Supreme Court seat opening and took note of remarks made late Monday night by CNN’s Don Lemon (blogged here by our Nick Fondacaro) in which he asserted his fellow progressives will “have to blow up the entire system” if the President and Republicans succeed in replacing the late Ruth Bader Ginbsburg.
McEnany must have had her morning Wheaties as Acosta was the first journalist called on. Acosta responded in kind with this question on behalf of his deranged colleagues in Zuckerville: “Kayleigh, as you know, the country has hit 200,000 deaths from the coronavirus. What do you say to Americans who are outraged over this and blame this administration for so many lives lost in this country?”
She replied by pointing out the original projection of two million deaths (without mitigation efforts) and how steps were taken to prevent that, but Acosta was a man on a mission.
When McEnany pushed back and called him out for misquoting the President, Acosta kept fighting his losing battle and took away time from other journalists in the room (click “expand”):
ACOSTA: And if you don’t mind, if I could follow up. Last night the President said at one of his rallies about the virus and I think he was talking about the younger Americans. He said “it affects virtually nobody. By the way, open your schools, everybody open your schools.” But he said to Bob Woodward it's not just old — it's not just older people it's young people, too. At 200,000 deaths, shouldn't the President be telling people the truth at the rallies about the virus?
MCENANY: The President is telling people the truth and you’re right, Jim that he was —
ACOSTA: No, he’s not. He’s —
MCENANY: — talking about —
ACOSTA: — he’s saying that it affects virtually nobody and that it doesn't affect young people. He’s not telling the truth.
MCENANY: Jim, but again, you’re taking the President out of context. I have his full quote here and you’re right that he was referring to young people. He said this —
ACOSTA: But I'm not taking it out of context.
MCENANY: He’s —
ACOSTA: I said he was talking about younger people then I’m not taking him out of context.
MCENANY: You’re — you are taking it out of context because you’re making an assertion that he’s not giving critical information when, in fact, he is. And I will underscore exactly what he said. And he said this: “You know in some states, thousands of people — and they’ve had nobody young. Below the age of 18. Like, nobody. They have a strong immune system.” And that is factually true. You can go to the American Academy of the Pediatrics website, the Children’s Hospital Association and they list out —
ACOSTA: But Kayleigh, as you know, younger people —
MCENANY: — a number of states that have —
ACOSTA: — have contract — younger people —
MCENANY: — have had zero pediatric deaths.
ACOSTA: — can contract the coronavirus and then spread it to older people.
Acosta went onto accuse Trump of “diminishing the fact that young people can catch this virus and spread it to older people” and, on the point about COVID taking a toll on young Americans, McEnany cited a litany of states with zero pediatric deaths and the overall mortality rate being “.01 percent...for people under the age of 18.”
Alexander came up two reporters later and followed Acosta’s lead by, in the words of my colleague Tim Graham, “throwing around ‘200,000 [d]ead’ like a sick bloody flag”: “President gave himself a-plus for handling COVID but the 'D' for his PR. What would good PR look like when 200,000 Americans are dead.”
After saying that what Trump meant was “mak[ing] sure that we get good information to the American people” didn’t satisfy him, the NBC correspondent turned to the spin that the President lied to the American people about the coronavirus (and thus sent thousands of Americans to their deaths).
Click “expand” to read more on how McEnany not only debunked that, but then schooled him after he ghoulishly boasted about the struggle the White House would find itself in should all six vaccine trials fail:
MCENANY: I would point you to Dr. Fauci who said “I don't recall anything different in our discussions with the President that he said things quite similarly in public.” And he was asked by none other than John Roberts: “Did you ever get the sense he was or wasn't playing this down?” “No, no, I didn't.” And that’s an assertion echoed by the Vice President. Our response when you look at 100 million tests that we’ve exceeded, the vaccine on the record pace, the therapeutics, the fact we have brought fatality down by 85 percent. This was a novel pathogen that came in, for which there were no test [sic] and there were no identified therapeutics but they were identified very quickly. And also, with regard to the vaccine if you look at the notion that we are manufacturing this at the commercial levels, which I was told by — by Dr. Slaoui that that takes normally years to do. And we’re already producing — the goal is 100 million doses by the end of the year. That’s a testament to the President and his response.
ALEXANDER: If none of these vaccines are effective, what is plan B for the White House?
MCENANY: Look, you’re asking a hypothetical. We have six vaccines —
ALEXANDER: But a hypothetical is a lot of lives at stake.
MCENANY: — we have six American vaccines that we’ve identified. Three of them in phase three clinical trial. There’s also one —
MCENANY: — there’s — well, we are getting there.
MCENANY: By the end of the year is the goal and when you say —
ALEXANDER: So the point is if they’re not approved, what would — what would do we do if they’re not approved? We all hope for good news but what if they’re not approved? What would the White House do?
MCENANY: We have six candidates. We are of strong belief that we will identify one, hopefully more than one working vaccine by the end of the year, producing them in advance. We already have a distribution plan and when you compare this — I think context matters. Ebola taking 14 months to get to phase three clinical trial. We already have two candidates in the phase three clinical trial. Ebola took three years to get to completion. We will have done this in under a year, the fastest rate for a novel pathogen in history.
“We all hope for good news,” Peter? Two words that applies to the notion that all journalists hope the vaccines pan out: Fake news.
Prior to Alexander’s attempt to one-up Acosta, the Associated Press’s Kevin Freking touted pure Democratic spin, asking McEnany why Trump could possibly think that replacing Ginsburg before the election would “help Cory Gardner and Joni Ernst and the Republicans keep a majority in the Senate?”
McEnany replied with the obvious, which was the Kavanaugh witch-hunt changed everything in showing how the left doesn't play fair.
In a follow up, Freking asked: how could “Democratic stumbles in the Kavanaugh confirmation process will help Republicans if it’s repeated” and McEnany buried this spin:
Democrats really showed themselves at the lowest point on the confirmation process. I think the American people saw the Democrats for the partisan games that they play. The American people are looking now to see Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer talking about impeachment for executing your power in Article II, Section 2. It's really inane and outlandish the things they’re suggesting. And once again, they seem to be doubling down on the Kavanaugh approach. Didn't work out well with Justice Kavanaugh. Won’t work out too well this time in an election year.
With this having been a press briefing, there were no commercials to discuss as having sponsored their left-wing propaganda. However, you can still go here to check out the MRC's Conservatives Fight Back page to see many of the advertisers that support the work of ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and NBC.