It’s back on the arm between US President Donald Trump and Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. It’s prompted by Trump’s statement earlier this week that he was taking the malaria inhibitor, hydroxychloroquine, to protect himself from potential contamination with the new coronavirus. Even though there is no evidence that it works for that, it quickly degenerated into verbal abuse.
It was Monday during a meeting with businesspeople in the White House that Trump suddenly dropped that he had been taking hydroxychloroquine for a week and a half, under the motto “if it doesn’t help, it won’t hurt.” Although it is cited as a possible remedy for the coronavirus, there is still no scientific evidence that it actually works.
There was considerable criticism of the president’s outpouring, especially since the US FDA – the government agency that monitors the quality of food and medicines – had already warned about the dangers of the drug. For example, it could cause heart problems.
Democrats have been unaffected, too, and Nancy Pelosi rushed Monday to say she thought the president was “not a good idea” during an interview with the news channel CNN. “I would rather he didn’t take something that was not approved by scientists,” he said. ‘Especially considering his age and weight category: morbid obesity.’
With the latter, she referred to research that showed that older people and overweight people are more at risk if they become infected with the coronavirus. Trump is 73 and, according to his medical record, has a BMI of 30.4, which means he just falls into the ‘obese’ category.
On Tuesday morning, Trump initially replied that he did not want to respond to Pelosi’s statement. He thinks, “she’s a waste of time”. But less than five minutes later, he commented at a press conference that Pelosi is “a sick woman.” “She has a lot of problems,” said Trump. “Lots of mental problems.”
That same day Pelosi bounced the ball back. During an interview with news channel MSNBC, she said she did not expect the president to be “so sensitive” about his appearance.
“He always talks about other people’s weight, how much they weigh,” said Pelosi. “I think he has to recognize that his words are heavy. Instead of telling people to pour Lysol (a cleaning agent, ed.) Into their lungs or to take medication that has not yet been approved, he would rather say things that really help people.”