The tense exchanges happened after Trump announced that he was declaring houses of worship "essential" and would be urging governors to allow them to reopen.
McEnany clashed with reporters on the lack of specifics regarding Trump's announcement on houses of worship, and even suggested that journalists don’t want churches to open.
The president will strongly encourage every governor to allow their churches to reopen, and boy it’s interesting to be in a room that desperately wants to seem to see these churches and houses of worship stay closed.
Jeff Mason, a longtime White House reporter for Reuters, was offended by McEnany’s insinuation that journalists don’t want churches open.
In an emotional moment, he said that he’s religious and is "dying to go back to church”, but had a responsibility to ask about whether it’s safe or not.
Before going on a tangent about how great the freedom to practice religion is, she replied:
Jeff, it is safe to reopen your churches if you do so in accordance with the guidelines.
At the start of the briefing, Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, offered a detailed look at which areas of the country are still dealing with high cases of the virus.
Birx said she trusts community leaders to make the right judgment regarding houses or worship.