Kellyanne Conway, senior counselor to the president, joined Fox News’s Martha MacCallum for an interview Wednesday morning to discuss the return of President Trump’s COVID-19 press conferences. Trump’s Tuesday briefing was his first since April. But Conway said that while the briefings stopped, the work never slowed.
According to Conway, the White House has been firing on all cylinders to produce a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year: initiating Operation Warp Speed to streamline the vaccine process, knocking down FDA red tape and regulations, and working with the private sector. But Conway said the president was right to tell the public that the situation would get worse before it gets better, as he stated Tuesday. Until then, she added, wearing a mask “costs nothing, it takes two seconds, and you’ll get your liberties back sooner if you wear your mask because things will open up faster.”
MacCallum pointed out that until very recently, the White House was hesitant to push “mask-up” messaging. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi also noted the administration’s change of tune. “He recognized the mistakes that he had made by now embracing mask wearing and the recognition this is not a hoax, it is a pandemic that has gotten worse before it will get better because of his inaction and, in fact, clearly it is the Trump virus,” Pelosi told CNN in a Tuesday interview.
Conway hit back at Pelosi’s rhetoric and rebranding of the coronavirus, saying there’s “really no time for her petty, partisan politics.”
“We’re trying to work together with Congress to get a phase four passed that the president will sign if it meets the goals we have to help schools and families and to help small businesses and others, low income households,” Conway said.
Despite Pelosi’s high-profile media appearances, Conway pointed out that Congress hasn’t been in session for three weeks. Infamously, Pelosi also encouraged tourists to come to Chinatown in her home district of San Francisco, despite rising concerns about the spread of the virus. “I think it’s very disappointing to hear the speaker of the House, the highest-ranking woman in our nation’s government, call this the ‘Trump virus’ and not the China virus,” Conway said.
Conway also pushed back on Democrats’ narrative that the White House has sent “Trump’s Troops” to end the violence that has engulfed American cities since May.
“These are not Trump’s troops,” she said. “This is not Trump’s virus. Those troops work for all of us.” MacCallum wrapped up the discussion by asking Conway to respond to claims that sending federal aid is a campaign ploy to push law and order and to escalate authoritarian rule in America.
“We’re not instigating, we’re responding,” Conway replied. “They are instigating. They are castigating our law enforcement. They are instigating these crimes.”
The weeks of protests, riots, and looting that followed the death of George Floyd have wreaked havoc on many urban areas. Places like Portland and Chicago have seen widespread property destruction, the assault of federal buildings, attacks on law enforcement, and the killing of two CHOP activists in addition to the many innocents, including babies, who have lost their lives in the lawlessness. “I think that when people say that about this president, that it’s politics, it’s not,” Conway concluded. “It’s called law and order. We are a nation of laws and we are a nation of order and the president isn’t deploying people there in minute 55 or hour 55. It’s day 55.”