White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany just once again showed CNN’s Jim Acosta that she is not someone to mess with when she accused him of taking a quote out of context during Tuesday’s press briefing.
It all started when Acosta asked McEnany about a partial quote Trump said during an Ohio campaign rally on Monday when he was talking about COVID-19.
“I think he was talking about younger Americans, He said it ‘affects virtually nobody,” Acosta said. “But he said to Bob Woodward that ‘it’s not just older people, it’s young people, too,’ at 200,000 deaths shouldn’t be telling people the truth about this virus at his rallies?”
McEnany, however, was not having any of it.
“The president is telling people the truth,” she fired back.
Acosta interrupted her to say once again that Trump said coronavirus “affects virtually nobody,” adding that he’s not telling the truth.
“Jim, but, you’re again taking the president out of context. I have his full quote here and you’re right that he was referring to young people. He said this,” McEnany said before she was interrupted for a second time.
“I’m not taking it out of context,” Acosta claimed.
That’s when McEnany really let loose.
“You are taking it out of context because you’re making an assertion that he’s not giving critical information when, in fact, he is and I will underscore exactly what he said,” McEnany said. “He said this, ‘You know, in some states thousands of people, and they’ve had nobody young, below the age of 18 like nobody. They have a strong immune system.’ That is factually true, you can go to the America Academy of Pediatrics website, the Children’s Hospital Association and they list a number of states that have had zero pediatric deaths.”
Acosta interrupted the press secretary for a third time, saying that young people can still spread coronavirus to older people.
“For the president of the United States, at 200,000 deaths, to go out to his rallies and say something like, ‘It virtually affects nobody, and that in some states it’s not affecting young people, that is glossing over the fact, and really diminishing the fact, that young people can catch this virus and spread it to older people… younger people can also be sickened and killed by this virus,” he said.
McEnany responded by asking if Acosta had the entire quote, to which he said, “I have the quote.”
“Yes, it is exactly as I read it to you, that in several states, they have had zero pediatric deaths. I have the entire list here: Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas and the list goes on,” McEnany shot back. “As you may not know, Jim, the COVID has a .01 mortality rate for people under the age of 18, so it is not a disease that affects young people in the same way as older people, which is the exact point the president was making last night.”
.@PressSec @KayleighMcEnany just obliterated Jim @Acosta. As usual, listen to how Acosta wasn't really asking questions, but instead offering a commentary blaming Trump for COVID deaths (i.e. saying he's committed murder) pic.twitter.com/UT7LH4dL5l
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) September 22, 2020
Game, set, match!