New White House Press Secretary Said Coronavirus Would Not Reach United States

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos (R) participates in a conversation with political commentator Kayleigh McEnany during the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.
Alex Wong / Getty Images

On Tuesday Kayleigh McEnany was announced as the new White House Press Secretary, replacing Stephanie Grisham, who didn’t once brief the press. As reported by Raw Story, McEnany previously appeared on Fox Business’ Trish Regan Primetime and suggested that Donald Trump would stop coronavirus from reaching American shores.

“This president will always put America first, he will always protect American citizens,” McEnany told Trish Regan, who is no longer with the network after controversially dismissing COVID-19 as an attempt to take down the president.

“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here, we will not see terrorism come here, and isn’t that refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama?” McEnany asked.

On the same day as McEnany’s statement, Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, claimed that the coronavirus was “contained.” As of this writing, there are over 380,000 cases of COVID-19 in the United States and almost 12,000 people have died from the disease.

As reported by The Hill, McEnany previously worked as a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee (RNC) and currently works for Trump’s reelection campaign — a position she will now relinquish. The Hill describes the 31-year-old as a “fierce defender” of Trump both on the campaign trail and in her television appearances.

According to The New York Times, McEnany’s position might stray from the traditional role held by the press secretary.

“It is unclear whether Ms. McEnany will revive the traditional role of a White House press secretary — answering questions from reporters in a daily briefing,” the report reads.

According to the piece, sources familiar with the news claim White House chief of staff Mark Meadows wants McEnany’s role to focus on defending Trump on television. Meadows reportedly clashed with Grisham and he allegedly had his sights set on McEnany as her replacement. According to The Hill, her hiring is a small piece of a “broader overhaul” of the White House’s press division under Meadows.

Trump was reportedly also not satisfied with his administration’s communications division and has complained about it since the early months of his term.

“Mr. Trump, who sees himself as his own best spokesman, has frequently complained about his media coverage,” The New York Times report reads. “Ms. Grisham was rarely on television, but she was known for aggressive exchanges defending her boss on Twitter.”

This is the Trump administration’s fourth press secretary. Before McEnany and Grisham, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Sean Spicer held the title. Thus far, only Sanders has lasted more than one year on the job.