Just like Donald Trump, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany does not like to answer tough questions and uses similar tactics to avoid them: deflecting, changing the subject, and berating reporters, for example. On Tuesday, McEnany argued with a reporter about having taken too long to ask a question about the risk of COVID-19 in schools, using Israel as an example, and McEnany turned the conversation into an argument.
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 4, 2020
News correspondent for NBC Yamiche Alcindor was called upon to ask a question while another reporter was still speaking. Politely, Alcindor chose to wait her turn and allow her colleague to finish speaking before asking a question about Israel’s recent school closings after COVID-19 forced faculty and teachers to quarantine after just a brief time of being open.
McEnany called on another reporter rather than answer the question, although Alcindor tried to ask her question again. McEnany told her she had waited too long to ask her question and tried to move on. When Alcindor explained that she was trying to not interrupt, McEnany once again tried to move on. Finally, the reporter caught in a battle of wills with the White House press secretary asked:
‘Do you not want to answer my question now that I was not being rude to another reporter?’
Ominous sign for U.S. school openings:
In May, Israel thought #COVID19 was under control, so schools were reopened. Outbreaks occurred, more than 240 schools had to be closed, and tens of thousands of teachers and students were quarantined https://t.co/YW3DhdQDlS
— Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44) August 4, 2020
The question was a fair one, and one that should have American parents of school-age children concerned.
At a time when Israel had contained the coronavirus far more efficiently than the United States has, with only 300 cases left in the country, schools were reopened so that the economy could rebound from its losses. After just a few days, schools were forced to close again due to the rapid spread among students, teachers, and their families.
The New York Times reports that:
‘Confident it had beaten the coronavirus and desperate to reboot a devastated economy, the Israeli government invited the entire student body back in late May.
‘Within days, infections were reported at a Jerusalem high school, which quickly mushroomed into the largest outbreak in a single school in Israel, possibly the world.
‘The virus rippled out to the students’ homes and then to other schools and neighborhoods, ultimately infecting hundreds of students, teachers and relatives.’
OPEN THE SCHOOLS!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2020
There is evidence that the phenomenon will show up in the United States, too. At Greenfield Central Junior High School in Indiana, the school was open only part of one day before a student who had interacted with other students and faculty prior to being tested, had contracted the virus.
According to CNN:
‘The Hancock County Health Department notified Greenfield-Central Junior High School Thursday afternoon that one of their students, who had attended part of the school day, tested positive for Covid-19, Superintendent Harold Olin said in a letter.’
A photo of kids leaving Indiana school that closed hours after it opened because Covid struck. Officials in town said opening would be ok cause kids had to wear masks.
See masks here? Social distancing?
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) August 1, 2020
Featured image via Twitter video