White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany held a press briefing on Monday during which she said that the world is looking to the United States as a leader amidst the coronavirus pandemic. When a reporter asked McEnany if the world was looking at the U.S. and its response to the novel coronavirus, McEnany replied that she thought the world saw the U.S. as a leader because of its low mortality rate, work with therapeutics, and its excess ventilators.
Several news organizations tweeted out the video of McEnany’s answer, and Twitter quickly mocked the member of President Donald Trump’s administration. Many Twitter users expressed disbelief that she managed to reply while keeping a straight face. They also seemed surprised that other reporters in the room did not laugh or call her out on the lie. Most noted that McEnany’s answer seemed at odds with the reality of how different countries feel about the U.S.
“Ahhhh, no, we don’t. This virus has sadly exposed the U.S. to the world to be broken, deeply divided, and grossly ignorant. It has become a caricature of itself and has embarrassed itself as a nation,” replied one Twitter user.
“Oh honey, the U.S. hasn’t been the leader in anything since the moron’s inauguration, let alone the coronavirus pandemic. When you have a minute, google New Zealand, and you’ll see a leader who has squashed corona. Trump is no leader,” a second Twitter user wrote.
“I think the world is looking at us as a leader in Covid-19," says White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany when asked how she thinks the U.S. is being perceived in its handling of the pandemic pic.twitter.com/DaHfSq0U1b
— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) July 6, 2020
Others pointed out that many countries around the world have denied U.S. citizens entry because the country is a COVID-19 hot spot.
“Europe has banned Americans from traveling there! Mexico has closed its borders to keep American people out! She has no idea what the hell she is talking about!” a third Twitter user declared.
Responses to the Press Secretary’s answer also included many gifs of people laughing. A few other Twitter users noted that the U.S. is the world leader in COVID-19 cases, and wondered if that is what she meant to say. Some of the responses also referred to President Trump’s former press secretaries, Sean Spicer and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and declared that McEnany is worse than her predecessors.
At least one reply included a report from The Guardian that came near the end of June. In a recent poll, at least 60% of those who responded from countries like Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, and Portugal said that they no longer trusted the U.S. as a global authority. The report found that Europeans’ trust in the U.S. has gone down since the pandemic began.