A Straight-Faced Conway Just Scolded States For Reopening ‘Too Quickly’

White House Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway talks to reporters outside of the West Wing on July 16, 2019. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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July 22, 2020 4:58 p.m.
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In a breathtaking display of shameless gaslighting, White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway on Wednesday accused the states plagued with skyrocketing COVID-19 cases of being too hasty with reopening their economies – you know, the thing President Donald Trump desperately pushed them to do for months.

“Some of these states blew through our criteria, blew through our phases and they opened up some of the industries a little too quickly, like bars,” Conway told reporters outside of the White House Wednesday.

The administration official argued that governors were the ones who chose to reopen their states and therefore Trump cannot be held responsible for the subsequent spikes in COVID-19.

“Remember, the governors wanted complete latitude over when they would open their states,” Conway said. “They pushed back heavily, handsomely, Republicans and Democrats, when it was falsely rumored that the President was going to be in charge of opening the states. He’s a federalist. He believes in states’ rights.”

The White House adviser cited Trump’s rebuke of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) in April as evidence of the President having a more cautious stance on reopening states than governors.

However, not only was Trump’s public condemnation reportedly motivated by his private resentment toward Kemp, it was also the exception in Trump’s overall enthusiastic endorsement of GOP-led states lifting their stay-at-home restrictions. Additionally, Trump threatened to “take very strong action” against states that didn’t reopen quickly enough to his liking and falsely claimed that he had the “total” authority to do so.

And when right-wingers in Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia were protesting their governors’ stay-at-home orders — often while armed with military-grade weapons — Trump called on the demonstrators to “LIBERATE” their states.

Conway’s jaw-dropping remarks on Wednesday also come in the middle of Trump’s crusade to pressure states into reopening their schools in the fall despite health experts’ warning that doing so puts students, teachers and their families at serious risk.

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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