Media Distorts Kayleigh McEnany's Case For Opening Schools So Badly It Sounds Like Opposite Of What She Said

Journalists and commentators misrepresented White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany's comments on Thursday about President Donald Trump's support for reopening U.S. schools in the fall.

What she said: Speaking at a press briefing, McEnany addressed concerns that sending children back to school could worsen the coronavirus pandemic, saying the "science should not stand in the way."

  • McEnany went on to cite research on the subject, saying, "science is on our side."
  • But her comments were widely reported out of context, creating the false impression that the White House was rejecting science.

Here are a few of the takes by leading news outlets, members of the media, politicians and pundits.

The Washington Post:

Jim Acosta, CNN chief white house correspondent:

(A followup clarifying tweet by Acosta received much less engagement.)

Joaquin Castro, failed 2020 presidential candidate:

Rep. Ted Lieu, California Democrat:

Bill Nye, science guy:

Ken White, attorney and blogger:

McEnany later set the record straight in a tweet of her own, slamming what she called a "Case Study in Media Bias."

  • "[L]eave it to the media to deceptively suggest I was making the opposite point!" she said.

For the record: In making the case for Trump's demand that U.S. schools reopen, McEnany cited data showing minimal fallout in many European countries and research finding low-risk from COVID-19 to children in North America.

  • She also appealed to the expert opinion of former Stanford Neuroradiology Chief Dr. Scott Atlas
  • "We encourage localities and states to just simply follow the science. Open our schools," McEnany said. 
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