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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany torched CNN’s Jim Acosta for taking President Donald Trump’s coronavirus comments out of context.
In a press briefing at the White House on Tuesday, McEnany turned the tables on Acosta who seemed to be on a mission to hog the spotlight again and create his own news, partially quoting the president in an attempt to blame him for COVID-19 deaths.
After her introductory remarks, McEnany called on Acosta who chose to focus on the coronavirus pandemic and the fact that the U.S. crossed 200,000 deaths.
“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?” he began.
After the press secretary pointed out how actions had been taken by the administration that helped avert the initial projection of two million deaths, Acosta pressed on with his agenda.
“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,” Acosta said.
“At 200,000 deaths, shouldn’t the president be telling people the truth at the rallies about the virus?” he asked.
“The president is telling people the truth and you’re right, Jim that he was —,” McEnany responded before being interrupted.
“No, he’s not. He’s…he’s saying that it affects virtually nobody and that it doesn’t affect young people. He’s not telling the truth,” the CNN reporter insisted.
“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 —,” McEnany said, again interrupted by Acosta.
“But I’m not taking it out of context,” he whined. “I said he was talking about younger people then I’m not taking him out of context.”
“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,” McEnany shot back.
“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.’ That is factually true, you can go to the America Academy of Pediatrics website, the Children’s Hospital Association and they list a number of states that have had zero pediatric deaths,” she asserted, as Acosta repeatedly interrupted to state that younger people “can contract the coronavirus and then spread it to older people.”
“For the president of the United States, at 200,000 deaths, to go out to his rallies and say something like, ‘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 this virus,” Acosta said.
McEnany pushed back despite Acosta’s rudeness, asking if he even had the president’s entire quote in front of him, to which the reporter said he did.
“Yes, it is exactly as I read it to you, that in several states, they have had zero pediatric deaths. I have the entire list here: Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas and the list goes on,” the press secretary noted.
“As you may not know, Jim, the COVID has a .01 mortality rate for people under the age of 18, so it is not a disease that affects young people in the same way as older people, which is the exact point the president was making last night,” she said.
CNN host Don Lemon complained about allegedly being taken out of context as well this week after his call “to blow up the entire system” during an on-air discussion with colleague Chris Cuomo. On Tuesday, Lemon backtracked on comments he made the previous night when he criticized the Electoral College and spoke of Democrats winning back the Senate and White House in November’s elections. But he reframed the same arguments as he contended that his comment was taken out of context by critics.
CNN’s ‘misunderstood’ Don Lemon backtracks call to ‘blow up the entire system’ https://t.co/S8b5DjFrEL
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 23, 2020
McEnany addressed Lemon’s comments during her opening remarks at Tuesday’s press briefing.
(Source: White House)
“Don Lemon said the quiet part out loud last night. He said this: We are going to have to blow up the entire system if the president does his job as outlined in the Constitution,” the press secretary said.
“That’s the difference between Republicans and Democrats,” she added. “We fight to protect the system. We fight to protect the Constitution when Democrats say outright we are going to blow up the entire system because we do not get our way.”
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