The Slatest

New White House Press Secretary Said a Month Ago That the Coronavirus Would Never Spread to the U.S.

Kayleigh McEnany, wearing a blue shirt, speaks into a microphone against a backdrop of Trump supporters.
Kayleigh McEnany speaks at a Trump campaign rally on Jan. 9 in Toledo, Ohio. Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Slate is making its coronavirus coverage free for all readers. Subscribe to support our journalism. Start your free trial.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham is leaving her position after nine months, during which she never held a press conference, which is amazing. Perhaps more amazing is that her replacement, TV talking head–turned–Trump 2020 spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany, is taking on a job whose ostensible current purpose is informing the public about the government’s response to a pandemic, despite having claimed a little over a month ago that a pandemic could never and would never take place while Donald Trump was president:

No doubt we’ll all be getting the straight dope on the coronavirus from coronavirus truther Kayleigh McEnany, who worked until this morning for Trump’s reelection campaign and, given what we know about the administration’s respect for election law, will probably continue to get paid by the campaign until such time as she is on Fox in November explaining why President Donald Trump is suspending the election in order to Keep America Great.

And by the way, above-mentioned epidemiology genius Larry Kudlow is still around doing things like supervising the small-business loan program that has already run out of money. It’s a real meritocracy over there.

For more on the impact of the coronavirus, listen to What Next.