Kayleigh McEnany had a difficult job even before her boss started retweeting conspiracy theories from a fringe doctor who blames demon sperm and alien DNA for America’s health problems.
CBS This Morning co-host Anthony Mason wasted no time getting to that particular story when he invited the White House press secretary on his show Wednesday morning.
“Why is the president pushing hydroxychloroquine again when his own health experts say it’s not effective in treating the virus?” he asked.
McEnany began by explaining that, despite science to the contrary, Trump has a “positive outlook” on the drug’s potential as a “prophylaxis in the early stages.” The president famously told the press he was taking hydroxychloroquine two months into the pandemic because he had “heard a lot of good stories” about it.
“He wants to save lives, that is his goal here,” she added. “That is why he’s promoting this drug as a prophylaxis but only in consultation with your doctor.”
After pointing out that Dr. Anthony Fauci has contradicted the president’s “positive outlook” on the drug by citing medical evidence, Mason zeroed in on the video that Trump retweeted of Dr. Stella Immanuel in which she not only promoted hydroxychloroquine as a miracle “cure” for COVID-19 but also declared that people “do not need to wear masks” and that shutdowns are “unnecessary.”
“This just comes a week after the president said masks are ‘patriotic,’” the host continued. “There’s a shift in tone here and what appear to be very mixed messages. Why?”
McEnany’s defense? “That was a three-second remark in a more than five-minute video,” she said, arguing that Trump was simply using Dr. Immanuel’s video to push the unproven drug he likes. When she started praising Trump for finally wearing a mask in public months into the crisis, Mason pushed back.
“But there’s a message in there that says it’s not necessary and it comes from the president who has 80 million followers!” he replied. “Did he not look at the whole video?”
“The president did look at the whole video,” McEnany said, perhaps not helping her case. “And the overarching message of the video, more than five minutes from this doctor, was talking about hydroxychloroquine.”
Trump himself seemed to predict this controversy during an interview last week when he said, “You know what I find? It’s not the tweets, it’s the retweets that get you in trouble.” The president then admitted that when he “sees something that looks good” on Twitter, he doesn’t always “investigate” it before hitting the retweet button.
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