Kayleigh McEnany rips media for downplaying coronavirus when pressed on her past rhetoric

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Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany came prepared Wednesday regarding questions about her past rhetoric that appeared to downplay the coronavirus before taking her current White House position last month.

Before the end of the White House briefing, Reuters' White House correspondent Jeff Mason pressed McEnany on remarks she had made earlier this year while working on President Trump's reelection campaign

"In a previous life, before you were press secretary, you worked for the [Trump] campaign. And you made a comment, I believe on Fox, in which you said President Trump will not allow the coronavirus to come into this country. Given what has happened since then, obviously, would you like to take that back?" Mason asked.

McEnany said that during her appearance on Fox Business Network, she was asked about Trump's travel restrictions he had placed on China, noting the "intention" of the president's actions was to prevent the virus from spreading in the U.S.

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"I guess I would turn the question back on the media and ask similar questions," McEnany told Mason before turning to a prepared list she had behind the podium. "Does Vox want to take back that they proclaim that the coronavirus would not be a deadly pandemic? Does The Washington Post want to take back that they told Americans to 'get a grip,' the flu is bigger than the coronavirus? Does The Washington Post, likewise, want to take back that our brains are causing us to exaggerate the threat of the coronavirus?"

She added: "Does The New York Times want to take back that fear of the virus may be spreading faster than the virus itself? Does NPR want to take back that the flu was a much bigger threat than the coronavirus? And finally, once again, The Washington Post, would they like to take back that the government should not respond aggressively to the coronavirus?"

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The newly-minted press secretary then wrapped up Tuesday's press conference.

"I'll leave you with those questions and maybe you'll have some answers in a few days," McEnany said before leaving the briefing room.

McEnany officially took over the role of press secretary last month and later held the first White House press briefing in over a year.