Kayleigh McEnany
Kayleigh McEnany

What part of injecting disinfectant into one's lungs, didn't you understand, Kayleigh? Less than three weeks on the job, the credibility of White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany is shot. Where have you gone, Stephanie Grisham? Though you rarely interacted with journalists at least you didn't embarrass yourself.

McEnany today charged the media for taking president Trump's lunatic suggestion about ultraviolet lights and disinfectants as magical cures for COVID-19 out of context.

McEnany released a statement on April 24. It said:

“President Trump has repeatedly said that Americans should consult with medical doctors regarding coronavirus treatment, a point that he emphasized again during yesterday’s briefing.

“Leave it to the media to irresponsibly take President Trump out of context and run with negative headlines.”

As New York and Washington sportscaster Warner Wolf used to say, "Let's Go to the Videotape."

The cheerleader-in-chief said during his April 23 COVID-19 ramblings: “So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous—whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light—and I think you said that hasn’t been checked, but you’re going to test it,” Trump said. “And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way, and I think you said you’re going to test that too. It sounds interesting.

“Then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning,” Trump continued. “Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that.”

McEnany might as well pack it in. She's toast among those who live in the real world.

Sheltering-in-place has provided a PR boost to the tech sector, according to a poll from APCO Worldwide.

The survey found that eight-in-10 Americans are using at least one more technology during the pandemic. Each of the dozen tech and media companies surveyed enjoyed a boost in their reputation. Amazon and Netflix showed the biggest improvement at 34 percent each, while Twitter (12 percent) and TikTok (11 percent) saw the lowest increases.

The best news for the tech/media companies: respondents promise to use their services more often once the pandemic goes away.

PRSA chair T. Garland Stansell urged communicators to step up during this "stressful, disconcerting and disorienting time" of COVID-19, a period when some bad actors are purposefully spreading disinformation, pushing hidden agendas and spinning the truth.

In his April 24 open letter to communicators, Stansell followed up on this month's decision by UN Secretary-General António Guterres to launch an initiative to combat “a dangerous epidemic of misinformation.”

The UN Communications Response Initiative was formed to help counter the widespread inaccuracies and half-truths circulating across the internet by providing a wealth of “facts and science.”

Stansell urged PR people to respond to Guterres' call by serving "as valued and authoritative information resources. We do this not only through our own expertise but also as trusted guides to finding and delivering relevant and reliable information."

Once the pandemic dissipates, Stansell believes there will be a great need for steadying and supportive voices at every level of society.

He called on PR pros to recommit themselves to the profession "to reinvigorate our sense of purpose, and to reaffirm our mission to serve as fierce guardians of and advocates for truthful, transparent communication."

Stansell is CCO at Children's of Alabama pediatric health system in Birmingham.