Magazine April 6, 2020, Issue

The Kellyanne Conway Show, Season 3, Episode 15: ‘Lockdown’

White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway holds a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., January 30, 2020. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

Fade in: Interior. Oval Office — Day

President Trump is sitting at the HMS Resolute desk, drumming his fingers on the desktop.

At the sofa, Kellyanne sits with an N95 Respirator mask on her face.

President Trump: You know what bugs me, K.A.? I mean, really bugs me?

Kellyanne shakes her head.

Kellyanne: (muffled, through mask) Whaa bogggs u, Mooostah Pwwzdont?

President Trump: I’ve been saying this literally for decades. Don’t shake hands, I’d say. It’s disgusting, I’d say. And you know what people said to me? You’re weird, Trump. You’re a germaphobe, Trump.

Kellyanne: (muffled, through mask) Oooo wuuuh aite, soar.

President Trump: So I ran for president and you know what I did? I shook hands, K.A. I shook hands with — I don’t know, a million people? How many people come to my rallies?

Kellyanne: (muffled, through mask) Moooyuns.

President Trump: Exactly. Millions. And I shook every hand and because I’m basically a nice guy — maybe too nice, K.A., is what some people are saying, maybe too nice — I high-fived and did the thing and whatever and now it turns out that I was right all along! It’s a bad thing, the handshaking and the whatnot, and we should have all listened to Trump way back then!

Kellyanne: (muffled, through mask) Vooori twooo, soar.

President Trump: I mean, I should have listened to Trump! Why didn’t I listen to Trump?

Kellyanne shrugs.

President Trump: (cont’d) So, what, we have to wait another five minutes for the test?

Kellyanne checks her watch.

Kellyanne: (muffled, through mask) Maaahee booonah.

President Trump nods. Sighs. Leans back in his chair.

President Trump: Makes you think, though, doesn’t it? A lady eats a bat on YouTube and the whole world goes crazy.

Kellyanne: (muffled, through mask) Hose tungs ur bobablee nut kahnetted, soar.

President Trump: Not connected, you say? Beg to differ, K.A., beg to differ. Doocy was saying on F and F this AM that the lady who ate the bat was probably part of some Chinese black-ops deal. You know, eat the bat and get bat-like powers. A lot of people, some of the top scientists, are doing research along these lines. It’s well known already that if you eat the heart of a lion you will get a lion’s courage. Don Jr. and Eric did that a few years ago on that safari and look at them now. Brave boys, am I right?

Kellyanne looks uncomfortable. President Trump turns to Kellyanne.

President Trump: (cont’d) Is that a tweet? Eating-the-bat-for-bat-powers thing?

Kellyanne shakes her head vigorously.

Kellyanne: (muffled, through mask) Nuh nuh nuh nuh, nuh, bweez doone soar. Uh bugh uh yuh.

President Trump: (thinks, then) Yeah, you’re probably right. Plus we don’t know it was that exact lady who ate the bat and did all of this, maybe it was some other lady and some totally different bat. Doocy didn’t specify. Thing is, K.A., in a time like this, you gotta be cautious.

A long pause.

President Trump: You know what’s the upside here? Gives me time to think. To get strategic. Gives my brain time to outthink the enemy.

Kellyanne: (muffled, through mask) Uh-oh.

President Trump: What was that, K.A.?

Kellyanne: (muffled, through mask) Uh dunt zay uhhnuhh hin soar.

President Trump: Thinking out loud here. Just a possible avenue to consider. What would we need to pay the president of Brazil — and it doesn’t have to be the president of Brazil, just someone who (a) has the virus and (b) needs money — but what would we have to pay someone like that to cough on Joe Biden? Are we talking a mil? More than a mil? What?

Kellyanne’s eyes widen. A gurgling sound comes from under her mask.

SFX: Phone rings.

Kellyanne snaps to attention, answers her phone.

Kellyanne: (muffled, through mask) Ziz is Kuhyee Uhhn. Woot. Woot.

Kellyanne takes off her mask.

Kellyanne: (into phone) This is Kellyanne. (then) I’ll tell him! (then, to President Trump) Sir! Great news! The test came back! You do not have the virus!

President Trump: Yes!

They both jump up and high-five. A beat.

President Trump: K.A., have you been tested?

Kellyanne: No, sir.

President Trump: So if you have it, now I have it? Even though a minute ago I didn’t have it?

Kellyanne looks stricken. She slowly puts her mask back on.

Kellyanne: (muffled, through mask) Uhm suh suh suh suhrry soar.

President Trump: Forget it, K.A. Things happen. But, you know, if say you did have it, it’d be a nice gesture to me if you’d go home and sneeze on that husband of yours.

Off Kellyanne’s look, we:

Fade out.

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