Trump’s New Spokesperson Brags They’re Just 700K Short of Delivering on Tests Promised a Month Ago

Trump’s new spox, Kayleigh McEnany, got hired because she’s willing to say any thing, regardless of how stupid.

Consider her claim that Trump is doing a great job because the US has now conducted 3.3 million coronavirus tests.

Ignore for a second what would be the appropriate amount of testing for a country of 320 million people that didn’t catch the outbreak before it spread widely (per person, we’ve done half of what Germany has done).

Back on March 6, which was over a month ago, Alex Azar said that the government would roll out 4 million tests by the following week (which would be March 13, which is also over a month ago). By my math, a month later, they’re still 700K tests off their promise, 17.5%.

In other words, McEnany is bragging that the Trump Administration still hasn’t met the promises they made a month ago.

Update: According to NBC, 41 days after making a promise on testing they still haven’t delivered, Trump is “close” to announcing a plan to do what should have been the priority two months ago.

A senior administration official said the White House is “close” to making an announcement on a plan.

But that plan still doesn’t include the single most thing Trump could do to restart the economy.

Another idea that’s been discussed would use the Defense Production Act to rapidly scale up testing, according to one person familiar with the discussions, though officials played down the idea given that Trump has been resistant to more consistently deploying that presidential power since he would rather use the law as leverage to get companies to take such steps.

39 replies
  1. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I suspect McEnany went from Harvard Law to Faux Noise because even lawyers occasionally – actually, quite often – have to tell the truth. Plus, the money’s better, if you can combine a willingness to lie about anything with playperson looks and demeanor.

    I find her as reprehensible as Trump, but for different reasons. Trump is an intentional and limitlessly bad actor, but he’s dumb as a post. McEnany, on the other hand, having earned her degrees at Georgetown and Harvard Law, knows what she’s doing, for whom, and where it goes. She had all the options there are to do something else. She chose this path.

    • emptywheel says:

      Right: I’ve heard people say in no uncertain terms she’s not at all dumb. Just plays it on TV.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Sure, Kris Kobach and others, like a few congresscritters, have academic resumes to die for, but are dumb as posts when it comes to everyday life. The politically connected ones Faux Noise seems to hire in a heartbeat, for that reason. For those without those connections, it seems to hire for their looks, smarts, willingness to playact and readiness to lie. McEnany seems to fit in that category.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      It would be interesting to see the IQ bell curve for all the Trump sociopaths plotted out with the various names attached. Including the international crime syndicate characters.

  2. harpie says:

    HEY! SCOTUS on C-Span:
    3:00 PM · Apr 16, 2020

    C-SPAN is committing to airing live each of the Supreme Court’s just-announced schedule of oral arguments for May, which will be held by teleconference. #SCOTUS

    May 12, 2020
    1:12 PM · Apr 15, 2020

    Tuesday May 12 is the new date for the Supreme Court for:
    Trump V. Mazars
    Trump V. Deutsche Bank AG
    Trump V. Vance

    • ducktree says:

      May 12 is also the *current* end date for the Los Angeles County Superior Court branches’ lock down procedures – extended from the previous end date of April 17 in the Presiding Judge’s order(s). That court’s date is likely to be extended more than once . . .

      • bmaz says:

        I was in court here most of the morning. It is on lockdown too, but for “essential cases”, of which mine was one. First live court appearance I have had to make in over a month. You could park anywhere, and the building seemed like a ghost town. I put on gloves before leaving the car, but kept the mask in my file folder.

        The only people wearing masks were the security guards at the front door that gave me the third degree about who I was and why I was there. I finally, after answering more questions than airlines reportedly are asking, convinced them I needed to be there.

        After that though, I saw nobody in a mask, not the front desk clerks, not the bailiffs, and not the judge. So I never put on the mask I brought. Not sure I could argue and cross-ex wearing a mask, but thankfully I did not have to. And managed to get out of there without touching anything except a couple of exhibits I brought. It was freaky bizarre though.

        • ducktree says:

          Ray Bradbury’s worst nightmares is what I’m sensing these days:
          Farenheit 451 burning through October Country. Martian Chronicles rewritten by The Illustrated Man . . .

          He wasn’t trying to predict the future, but prevent it!

        • tinao says:

          Heh, I just finished Ursula Le Guin’s, The Lathe of Heaven. Kinda freaky, but an incredible read. Sheer genius! Sorta where we’re at right now.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          Freaky, indeed! It reminds me of a SF television series that I had to stop watching. So, I don’t know how it compares, really…

          The series is called Counterpart and stars J.K. Simmons. It ran from December 2017 – February 2019. The Earth has mysteriously split into parallel worlds called Alpha and Prime. A Cold War develops between the two when a deadly virus kills hundreds of millions in the Prime world that is suspected of being caused by the Alpha world…It gave me nightmares.

          But, in a more hopeful spirit, I saw this news today:

          “How Man’s Best Friend Is Sniffing Out Covid-19”

        • harpie says:

          OMG! This is SO amazing! <3<3<3

          Within tow to three months they could have dogs deployed sniffing out asymptomatic COVID-19 cases.


        • Bardi says:

          I have been worried about asymptomatic cases as well as cases of those “testing negative”, yet going out later and getting infected. I feel this is much bigger than Mr. trump makes it out to be. Then, I wonder why…..

        • Pajaro says:

          Reminds me of experience at senior hour at the grocery store (major chain), except no guards or metal detectors. Few guys at the entrance door observing, guess to determine age. You walk by a conspicuous show of a staff wiping down shopping carts with cleaner, nice touch! Majority staff and shoppers in store have masks. I contrast this with my fave Asian grocery store, no entry review (tho normal hours). Most in store have masks, now. It is, at once, surreal and assuring.
          On another note a local gun shop with indoor range (a franchise it seems) is going to defy gov’s orders and open up. The usual 2nd amendment crap from NRA.

  3. e.a.f. says:

    700K short of the mark. gee. don’t know what to say, beyond most people I speak to don’t want the border with the U.S. to re open beyond its current essential traffic only Then our Deputy P.M. announced it would open when Canada was ready. That smile of hers said the rest, not on trump’s time table.

    Last time some one was short that kind of money their loan shark shot them dead in a restaurant. Oh, right, this is about lives, not money or perhaps it is about money. anyhow short that many tests, this isn’t going to be over for some time. without constant testing the virus can not be dealt with.

    • Eureka says:

      Thanks, this is the perfect time for some ABJ non-pareil. Quick-scrolling the first couple of pages, it’s going to be fun.

      Speaking of good reads, I was regaled by your tale above of leaving the house *for actual professional purposes*. Sounds like the folks inside the courthouse were behaving like people do at home, like unmasked in a ‘safe space’ heuristic.

      I got out to the grocery store for the first time in over a month, and it ended like the last time, in regret/why did we ever come here (uh, because hungry). All was fine until suddenly the place got crowded enough that the checkout line snaked to the back of the store. We got ‘columned’ between a nice but inadequately-masked talkative lady (she had a sleep mask on, which does not cover mouth-agape talk), and two chatting non-masked folks. I wanted to trade places with spouse to make a barrier between him and the unmasked talkers. Pretty much everyone else had masks. It’s like you gotta tape a PSA sign to your back. Being in a close space with no exit and unmasked adjacents, it didn’t seem best to start a discussion about it.

      Oh, and the fucking surveillance robot *stalked me.* Good times.

      • bmaz says:

        I should note that there was almost nobody in the courthouse, and there was more than sufficient space between everybody, and all kept it that way, so everybody not wearing masks once I was in was fine. I have no issues with what I saw, it was fine.

        The courtrooms in this facility are very big, there was no issue whatsoever with spacing. The freaky part was just that there was nobody else there. It really was like a Twilight Zone episode where most all people have disappeared compared to what I have ever seen in court.

        • Eureka says:

          I got that impression from your comment– could almost hear the empty echoes.

          But still it had to be nice to feel slightly more like a functioning human, even if the set was a little freaky.

        • bmaz says:

          Yes, indeed. And it was good to have to put on the monkey suit and go downtown instead of having to exist in home 24 hours a day in sweats. I miss going out for lunches, meetings, depositions, and, mostly, court appearances. Though a bit weird, it was good.

    • vvv says:

      Over and over, Judge ABJ impresses. I hope I’m not silly hoping she gets elevated to the Supremes.

      In the spirit of, eh, notoriety, I even have a nickname – meant respectfully and humorously – in mind:

      ht tps://

  4. Beth from Santa Monica says:

    The Trump Administration’s muddled “communications” again betray that they do not know what they are doing. So we’re at 3.3M COVID-19 tests. Fabulous! We’re all now ready to come off safer at home because 1/10 of our population has been tested? What utter crap.
    Where are the antibody tests? Hello?!? Even if we tested a meaningful percentage of the population exposed to the virus (symptomatic or not), that testing alone isn’t sufficient. And, please, are we really going to get “pre-printed cards” — no doubt complete with DJT branding — to flash as proof that we’re safe to be out?
    This is so stupid, it’s pathetic. If and when we have a working antibody test, everyone shown to have been exposed and thus at least partially immune (remember, there’s now evidence that there are at least 3 strains of this virus), will need proof less easily forged or faked than a card. It’s tattoo time folks! It doesn’t have to be obvious, but it does have to be permanent.

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