Resurfaced Clip Shows Kayleigh McEnany Saying Coronavirus Won't Come to the U.S.

A resurfaced video from one year ago shows former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany insisting that the novel coronavirus won't come to the U.S.

"[Donald Trump] will always put American first, he will always protect Americans and citizens. We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here. We will not see terrorism come here, and isn't that refreshing, when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama?" she said during a February 25, 2020 interview with Fox News.

One year ago today https://t.co/XVXAM7bud5

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 25, 2021

McEnany's remarks resurfaced just days after the U.S. recorded over 500,000 deaths from COVID-19 – a figure higher than any other country, and one that underscores the Trump administration's mixed messages about the pandemic.

"If you look back historically, we've done worse than any other country, and we're a highly developed rich country," the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said during an interview on Monday.

"There were things back then, if you go back and think about what you might have done, the kind of disparate responses of different states, rather than having a unified approach. But you know, it's so tough to go back and try to do a metaphorical autopsy on how things went. It was just bad. It is bad now," Fauci added.

Kayleigh McEnany
A video front last year has resurfaced showing former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany stating that the coronavirus won't come to the U.S. Here, McEnany speaks during a news briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House May 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty

The first case of COVID-19 was recorded in the U.S. in January 2020. Over the following months, former President Trump downplayed the virus by insisting it was no more dangerous than the common flu, along with sending mixed messages about the efficacy of masks and lockdown orders.

"I wanted to always play it down," Trump admitted in an interview on March 19 last year. "I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic."

According to a study published on February 11, the Trump administration's unfocused messaging led to hundreds of thousands – up to 40 percent – of unnecessary deaths related to the coronavirus.

"Many of the cases and deaths were avoidable. Instead of galvanizing the U.S. populace to fight the pandemic, President Trump publicly dismissed its threat (despite privately acknowledging it), discouraged action as infection spread, and eschewed international cooperation," the report, which was published in the medical journal The Lancet, said.

Globally, the coronavirus has claimed more than 2.4 million lives and infected 112 million, but the U.S. has consistently remained the worst-hit country.

Though Americans makes up just 4.25 percent of the world's population, the U.S. accounts for 20 percent of known virus cases across the globe. Roughly 1 in 670 Americans has now died from COVID-19, which has become the leading cause of death in the country, The New York Times reported.

However, cases and hospitalizations have gone down in recent weeks as the country races to get more Americans vaccinated.

According to a Times database, over the past 14 days, cases have declined by 40 percent, while hospital admissions have steadily dropped since mid-January, when the seven-day average reached about 130,000.

As of February 23, President Joe Biden's administration had reached nearly half of its goal to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses during his first 100 days in office.

So far, there have been over 66 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered, including 45 million who have been vaccinated with one dose, and 20 million who have been fully vaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported.

But on Tuesday, Fauci warned that complacency due to declining cases could lead to another virus surge.

"When people look at that curve, every day in the newspaper it's very steeply going down, which is terrific news. The infections per day are going down. We can't pull back on that and get complacent. Because if we do, we could see a surge," he said in an interview with CNN.

"We have got to, as quickly and as efficiently as possible, get as many people vaccinated as we can, at the same time that we continue with our public health measures," he added.

Newsweek contacted the White House for additional comment, but did not hear back in time for publication.