White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Wednesday slammed Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) regarding his restrictions on the size of religious gatherings recently being struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as numerous high-profile Democrats for violating COVID-19 guidelines.
McEnany, at the start of Wednesday afternoon’s White House press briefing, walked up to the podium and immediately opened with a scathing attack on multiple high-ranking Democrats for disobeying COVID-19 restrictions.
“The United States Constitution matters even during a pandemic,” she said.
Both screens flanking her in the background then, on a dime, displayed a picture of Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) maskless at a sizable indoor dinner party, which violated the COVID-19 restrictions he had implemented in his state. The California governor got in hot water over this incident last month and had to publicly apologize for it, saying that attending the party was a “bad mistake.”
Images and videos of other Democrats violating guidelines then began to play on the screens on a loop as McEnany went on speaking.
“While Democrat politicians seek to impose draconian restrictions against their citizens,” McEnany said, adding, “this past week the Supreme Court of the United States had their say on New York State’s capacity restrictions, which restricted the number of attendees allowed in places of worship but not other government-deemed essential businesses.”
Over the past few months, COVID-19 cases have been surging across the country, recently pushing the total number of deaths in the United States past 270,000 and the amount of virus cases beyond 13 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.
In particular, New York City and other parts of the state have been seeing a dramatic rise in the number of cases, which spurred Cuomo back in October to begin implementing tougher restrictions in certain “red zones” on schools and religious gatherings among other measures. Many of these red zones in Queens and Brooklyn were areas home to large Orthodox Jewish communities, and many of them responded to these restrictions with protests.
McEnany then praised the Supreme Court’s 5-to-4 decision to reject Cuomo’s restrictions and quoted a portion of what Justice Neil Gorsuch said in the ruling: “It is time—past time—to make plain that, while the pandemic poses many grave challenges, there is no world in which the Constitution tolerates color-coded executive edicts that reopen liquor stores and bike shops but shutter churches, synagogues, and mosques.”
Following this, McEnany turned her attention to the screens behind her and said, “Behind me you will see displayed images of Democrat hypocrisy playing on loop.”
She then listed the publicized incidents on the screens, some of which included the aforementioned Newsom incident, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot celebrating President-elect Joe Biden’s victory on a crowded street the weekend after Election Day, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at an indoor appointment at a California hair salon back in late August when the state only allowed outdoor appointments.
“Quite clearly, these Democrats do not follow their own edicts,” McEnany said after listing the incidents on the screens. “They act in a way that their own citizens are barred from acting.”
Then shifting back to the Supreme Court’s ruling, McEnany criticized Cuomo’s response to it, saying, “Gov. Cuomo’s decision to impose restrictions on the size of religious gatherings was rebuked by the highest court in the land. But what was Cuomo’s response? Instead of showing deference to the Constitution, he attacked the legitimacy of the court.”
“Gov. Cuomo said this: ‘You have a different court and I think that was the statement that the court was making. We know who he appointed to the court, we know their ideology,'” she said.
“Well, in fact, the ideology of those on the Supreme Court who made the decision to support the First Amendment are in favor of freedom [and] the Constitution that survives even during a pandemic,” she said in response to Cuomo’s statement.
Furthermore, McEnany went on to tie this statement and the incidents displayed on the screens together to claim that Democrats are hypocrites who primarily seek control when it comes to COVID-19 restrictions.
“This statement from Gov. Cuomo strikes at the heart of the issue: Democrats seek control,” she said. “These images behind me make clear Democrats’ mindset: rules for thee but not for me.”
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’
Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social, “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”
Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”
It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.
Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.
And the escalation of war is visible.
Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.
Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.
Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”
Morning. Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.
— Oleksiy Goncharenko (@GoncharenkoUa) January 26, 2023
The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”
F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.
Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.
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