Nancy Pelosi has said that President Donald Trump should not be taking hydroxychloroquine because of his age and weight, going on to call him "morbidly obese."
On Monday, President Donald Trump said that he had been taking hydroxychloroquine for weeks to prevent a coronavirus infection. President Trump has long promoted the drug as a potential treatment for the disease, even though several studies have suggested that it could be dangerous.
“I happen to be taking it,” Trump told members of the media according to CNBC. “A lot of good things have come out. You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the front-line workers. Before you catch it. The front-line workers, many, many are taking it.”
There is no proof that the drug works as a preventative against coronavirus, and the FDA has warned that taking the drug in an uncontrolled setting could cause heart problems.
Following the president's comments, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that he should not be taking the drugs.
"He's our president, and “I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group, and in his, shall we say, weight group: ‘Morbidly obese,’ they say,” Pelosi told CNN's Anderson Cooper.
According to Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician, President Trump weighed in at 243 pounds in February 2019. That would give the 6 feet 3 inches tall president a body mass index of 30.4. Anything over 30 is considered obese. Trump gained weight despite telling doctors that he would like to lose 10 to 15 pounds.
On Monday, President Trump said that he had asked White House doctors before taking the drug. But he attracted criticism from many, including Fox News, because the anti-malaria and lupus drug is unproven for use in preventing coronavirus. And in use in people with coronavirus, studies have suggested that it could be dangerous.
A study of hundreds of patients at US Veterans Health Administration (VA) medical centers found that patients who were treated with the drug "were no less likely to need mechanical ventilation and had higher death rates compared to those who did not take the drug," according to CNN.
In the study of 368 patients, 97 patients who took hydroxychloroquine had a death rate of 27.8%. Patients who did not receive the drug, of whom there were 158, had an 11.4% death rate. Despite these findings, the VA is still using the drug, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Two large observational studies from New York, each involving around 1,400 patients, also found that hydroxychloroquine provided no benefit. Researchers in France and China also came to the same conclusion.
Unsurprisingly, Nancy Pelosi's comments attracted a strong response online.
Senator Scott Surovell wrote: "One day, I learn to strike as deftly as Obi-Wan Pelosi. Until then, I am only her Padowan."
Comedian Patton Oswalt added: "Sweet Jesus. I’m pouring a glass of wine, kicking back, and waiting for the meltdown. We got a Category 5 coming, kiddies."
"Pelosi just called [Trump] 'morbidly obese' on CNN," another added. "And she did it while expressing concern for his health. I can’t stop laughing. She’s so good at this."
Others spoke out against Pelosi, calling the comments "fat shaming."
"Yes, Trump is morbidly obese," one user wrote. "That doesn't make it okay to fat shame people on national television."
Yes, Trump is morbidly obese. That doesn't make it okay to fat shame people on national television.— Jackie (@jackiembouvier) May 19, 2020
Another added: I'm wondering if [conservative commenter S.E. Cupp] and others would find it knee slapping hilarious if President Donald Trump called someone morbidly obese or would the words fat shaming be trending? I want to make certain we are playing by the same rule book."
To which Cupp replied: "Let me end the suspense. Trump’s called multiple women fat, slobs, pigs, dogs. He bragged about grabbing us by the pussy. He attacked female journalists and wishes we’d be more like a subservient 1950s housewife. So, yeah. When Pelosi calls him obese I find it f*cking hilarious."
Let me end the suspense. Trump’s called multiple women fat, slobs, pigs, dogs. He bragged about grabbing us by the pussy. He attacked female journalists and wishes we’d be more like a subservient 1950s housewife. So, yeah. When Pelosi calls him obese I find it f*cking hilarious. https://t.co/jlUwHkQmUw— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) May 19, 2020
The best way to prevent contracting or spreading coronavirus is with thorough hand washing and social distancing. If you feel you may be experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, which include persistent cough (usually dry), fever, shortness of breath, and fatigue, please call your doctor before going to get tested. For comprehensive resources and updates, visit the CDC website. If you are experiencing anxiety about the virus, seek out mental health support from your provider or visit NAMI.org.