WH Doubles Down On Trump Fantasy That COVID-19 Will Just ‘Disappear’

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 01: White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany talks to reporters during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House July 01, 2020 in Washington, DC. This is the thir... WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 01: White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany talks to reporters during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House July 01, 2020 in Washington, DC. This is the third day in a row that McEnany has briefed journalists following news reports of an alleged plot by a Russian military intelligence unit to pay bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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July 1, 2020 6:27 p.m.
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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended President Trump’s remarks earlier Wednesday that the coronavirus will “just disappear” as several states continue experiencing significant spikes in infection rates.

During a Fox Business interview earlier Wednesday, the President was asked whether he maintains his belief that the coronavirus will disappear, which he has repeatedly insisted in recent months.

“I do. Yeah, sure,” Trump told Fox Business on Wednesday. “At some point, and I think we’re going to have a vaccine very soon, too.”

McEnany backed up the President’s remarks during a White House briefing later Wednesday.

When asked whether the President’s coronavirus strategy is to hope that it disappears, McEnany replied “no” because he “is confident that it will disappear.”

“He is confident that he has put together a revolutionary first class team that is going to break through bureaucracy and get us a vaccine,” McEnany said. “He’s confident that that will lead us to a place where we won’t have COVID on our hands.”

McEnany added that “there is very pleasing news today” about companies such as Pfizer showing “positive results” for their vaccines.

McEnany was then pressed on how the President could possibly have evidence that the coronavirus would just evaporate into thin air if Dr. Anthony Fauci testified the day before that the country could soon see 100,000 new cases per day.

The White House press secretary responded by characterizing the surge in cases as “embers in the country” and blamed the increase in coronavirus testing on the uptick.

‘We’re aware that there are places with rising cases and that is why (White House coronavirus response coordinator) Dr. Birx is on the ground and others. We’re continually assessing that,” McEnany said. “But one thing I would note is just that when you do test more people, you do identify more cases and that is rapidly ongoing.”

This remark doesn’t take into account that just last week TPM was first to report that the Trump administration, at the time, had plans to dramatically decrease its support for testing sites in five states across the U.S., including the hard-hit Texas.

Pressed on why she classifies coronavirus hotspots in Florida, Texas and Arizona as “embers,” McEnany insisted that “those are what we see as rising cases.”

“We see embers around the country,” McEnany said. “We always knew those would come with reopening.”

When a reporter again asked about her “embers” comment later in the briefing — noting that an all-time record of 47,000 coronavirus cases were recorded just yesterday — McEnany doubled down on her previous characterization of the surge in cases.

“So I use the word embers because that is what the President has acknowledged that would happen around the country,” McEnany said. “You would see spikes across the country. He said at times you would see fire across the country — embers, fires.”

McEnany concluded by again attributing the increase in coronavirus cases to Trump’s faulty logic, that an increase in testing would lead to an increase in cases.

Watch McEnany’s remarks below:

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

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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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