House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) criticized President Trump for taking hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for coronavirus, saying “its not a good idea” because he is “morbidly obese.”
“As far as the President is concerned, 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 said in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper Monday evening. “So, I think it’s not a good idea.”
Pelosi’s remark on Trump’s weight came after the president revealed to reporters earlier Monday that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine, a drug used to prevent malaria and to treat autoimmune conditions, as a preventative measure against the coronavirus.
During a press conference on Monday, Trump said been taking the antimalarial drug for about a week-and-a-half along with a zinc supplement as a preventative measure against the coronavirus.
“I take it,” Trump told reporters during a meeting of restaurant executives. “I was just waiting to see your eyes light up when I said this.”
He added, “I started taking it, because I think it’s good,” Trump said. “I’ve heard a lot of good stories. I get a lot of tremendously positive news on the hydroxy. And I say … what do you have to lose?”
When asked if the White House doctor recommended he take hydroxychloroquine, Trump responded that he consulted with the physician about it, but it was not explicitly recommended for him to take since he continues to test negative for the coronavirus.
“I asked him what do you think,” Trump said. “He said, ‘Well if you’d like it.’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’d like it. I’d like to take it.'”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Trump might be lying about his use of hydroxychloroquine because he just “likes to make a splash.”
“Maybe he’s really not taking it because the president lies about things characteristically,” Schumer said in an interview with MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki on Monday. “I don’t know whether he is taking it or not. Who knows if it’s true? He may not have been taking it for all we know. He just likes to make a splash.”
White House physician Dr. Sean Conley later confirmed in a memorandum that Trump has continued to test negative for the coronavirus and both have had several discussions about hydroxychloroquine and decided “the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.”
“After numerous discussions he and I had for and against the use of hydroxychloroquine, we concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks,” Dr. Conley wrote. “In consultation with our inter-agency partners and subject matter experts around the country, I continue to monitor the myriad studies investigating potential COVID-19 therapies, and I anticipate employing the same shared medical decision making based on the evidence at hand in the future.”