Donald Trump‘s new White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany held her first press briefing on Friday after more than 400 days without a scheduled press briefing by the Trump administration.
The last briefing was held by Sarah Sanders in March 2019, though the president has held his own free-wheeling briefings through the coronavirus pandemic and reporters scramble to get statements during Oval Office visits.
Before the president left the White House for Camp David for the weekend, his first extended departure from Washington since the coronavirus pandemic, the president revised his predictions for the nation’s death toll, saying it will “hopefully” fall under 100,000.
He has previously claimed the death toll from Covid-19 would near 50,000 to 60,000, an estimate he later changed to 60,000 to 70,000.
By 1 May, nearly 65,000 people have died from illness related to the virus, and more than 1 million cases were confirmed in the US this week, accounting for roughly one-third of global cases.
Ms McEnany vowed to reporters she would never “lie” to the public while at the podium, though several claims were scrutinised moments later. She also addressed China, where the coronavirus is believe to have originated, and the “injustice” surrounding General Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI.
Earlier on Friday, the president teased reinstating disgraced general after calling the FBI “dirty cops” for investigating him.
Meanwhile, Democratic challenger Joe Biden has emphatically denied a historic sexual assault allegation against him, breaking his silence over the accusation as more people corroborate a former senate aide’s account of an assault.
In Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s decision to extend lockdown measures led armed right-wing protesters to storm the state House in Lansing to demand an end to quarantine. The president subsequently praised protesters as “very good people” following their protest.