White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany is fairly new to her role, but she’s already used to fielding nonsense questions from the press.
The dumb questions kept rolling on Tuesday. McEnany called on a reporter in the back (although his face was covered by a mask, social media correctly identified him as CNN political analyst and Politico writer Ryan Lizza), who asked her, matter-of-factly, how many dead Americans should we “tolerate?”
“What number of dead Americans, by Election Day, would the White House say we’ve successfully defeated this virus?” he asked. “Is there a number?”
“Every loss of life counts,” McEnany responded. “We say 100,000, but like the president says, ‘one death is something to be mourned.'” “These 100,000 individuals have a face.” But Lizza wouldn’t let go of his election narrative, asking, “When voters go to the polls in November, and they want to judge the president on his response to this pandemic, what is the number of dead Americans that they should tolerate where they can argue that yes, we’ve successfully defeated the pandemic?”
“You’re asking the wrong question,” McEnany said, before he began arguing with her. As McEnany already said in her first answer to Lizza, Trump made the hard choice to shut down the economy, saving countless lives and drastically reducing the initial death toll predictions.
“We are far below 2.2 million dead Americans because of the actions of President Trump,” she emphasized, before moving on to more questions. “I answered your question once but if you ask it twice it doesn’t make it any better of a question,” she said for good measure.
But the ridiculous inquiries will continue. They can’t help it. And they continue to frame it in the context of the presidential election. A few weeks ago Olivia Nuzzi posed this whopper for President Trump: “If an American president loses more Americans over the course of six weeks than died in the entirety of the Vietnam war, does he deserve to be re-elected?”