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Kayleigh McEnany says she has COVID after refusing to wear a mask

The White House press secretary is the latest Trump official to test positive.

By Josh Israel - October 05, 2020
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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced Monday that she tested positive for the coronavirus, joining numerous other Trump-connected people. Like most of the Trump administration, she has consistently flouted safety protocols.

“I tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning while experiencing no symptoms,” she wrote. “While my recent positive test, I will begin the quarantine process and will continue working on behalf of the American People remotely.”

McEnany has never worn a mask while briefing reporters at the White House, and was criticized for having briefed reporters on Thursday without a mask, despite having been in close contact with White House adviser Hope Hicks. Hicks was the first of several White House officials and others to test positive last week, following receptions for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, which appear to have turned the White House into a COVID hot spot.

“Kayleigh McEnany was, we have now learned, notified of Hope Hicks’ positive diagnoses yesterday and later in the day still held a briefing with White House reporters, and, of course, she was not wearing a mask,” Associated Press reporter Jonathan Lemire reported Friday.

In her statement, McEnany claimed, “I definitely had no knowledge of Hope Hicks’ diagnosis prior to holding a White House press briefing on Thursday.”

But even after Hicks’ and Trump’s diagnoses, she also briefed reporters — without a mask — on Friday, rather than self-quarantining.

The White House did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story.

Like Trump, McEnany has refused to wear a mask when speaking to reporters. Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend ” that people wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.”

The confirmed cases thus far: Trump and his wife, Melania; Trump campaign manager, Bill Stepien; Republican National Committee chair, Ronna McDaniel; Trump personal assistant, Nick Luna; former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, who attended the White House event; former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who worked with the team on debate prep; Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin; Trump adviser Hicks; and Notre Dame president John Jenkins, who attended the White House event for Barrett a week ago.

Trump is currently hospitalized.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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