Earlier this week, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany had no trouble shutting down a reporter who asked her how many dead Americans would be considered a coronavirus success.

The question was asked by Ryan Lizza, a reporter for Politico. “What does the White House view, as having by election day, what does the White House view as the number of dead Americans where you can say that you successfully defeated this pandemic?” asked Lizza. “Is there a number?”

The question was clearly designed to throw McEnany off, but she wasn’t about to let that happen. “Yeah, you know, every loss of life counts,” McEnany replied. “We say 100,000, but like the president says, one death is something to be mourned. These 100,000 individuals have a face, the president takes this very seriously, it’s why he lowered the flag to half-staff for three days to remember these men and women.”

“I think, you know, Dr. Birx said it best when she said that in their estimates they had anywhere between 1.5 and 2.2 million people in the U.S. succumbing to the virus if we didn’t shut down the economy. The president made the very hard choice of shutting down the economy, so we avoided that extraordinary number,” she added. “One death is too many; we never want to see a single individual lose their life, but that being said, to be under significantly that high mark shows that the president did everything in his power and help to make this number as low as humanly possible.”

Unsatisfied with this response, Lizza put the same question to McEnany once again. “So 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, he successfully defeated the pandemic?” he re-inquired.

“I think you’re asking the wrong question,” McEnany responded. “The right question is…”

Lizza tried to loudly object to this, but McEnany wasn’t having any of it. “I answered your question once, but if you ask it twice it doesn’t make it any better of a question,” McEnany replied. “So I’ll respond in kind. I’ve given you one answer, I’ll continue to extrapolate upon that,” concluding, “This president made the right choice, it was a delicate balance, and he did it exactly as he should, guided by data, and we are far below 2.2 million dead Americans because of the actions of President Trump.”


McEnany has only been the press secretary for a few weeks, yet she has already shown journalists that she is not someone they can just walk all over. Liberal reporters are going to have to step their game up if they think they can back McEnany into any kind of corner, because she is not about to let them disrespect President Trump on her watch.