Hours after Donald Trump claimed he was taking daily doses of the potentially harmful drug hydroxychloroquine, the White House released a letter from the president’s physician.
The only problem is that Trump’s doctor, Sean Conley, wouldn’t say whether he had given the president a prescription for the drug or whether Trump was even taking it, as he had claimed earlier on Monday.
Instead, the letter simply stated that the two men had a discussion about the drug and came to the conclusion that the potential benefits outweighed the risks.
As Sam Stein of the Daily Beast pointed out, the document mentioned nothing about whether Trump was actually prescribed hydroxychloroquine or if he is even taking it. It was three paragraphs of, well, nothing.
This doctor letter the White House just released doesn’t actual include the doctor saying he prescribed Trump hydroxychloroquine pic.twitter.com/i17UUe976v
— Sam Stein (@samstein) May 19, 2020
It’s almost irrelevant whether Trump is taking the drug
As Vox’s Zack Beauchamp pointed out, the president is being incredibly irresponsible regardless of whether he’s actually taking hydroxychloroquine.
Beauchamp wrote, “Ultimately, the president is either doing something irresponsible or lying irresponsibly. Either way, it’s terrible behavior that reflects poorly on the man in charge of our country — just one more example of the wild unfitness for office that’s been on display throughout the pandemic.”
It’s hard to imagine that Donald Trump is taking a drug that medical experts warn could lead to death. What’s more likely is that the president decided in the moment that it was somehow a smart political strategy to say he was taking it.
After all, Trump has been promoting hydroxychloroquine for months, and he now finds himself under fire from a HHS whistleblower who claims the administration was pressuring him to make the drug widely available, despite the known risks.
If Donald Trump was truly taking hydroxychloroquine, the letter released by his physician likely would have said so explicitly. Instead, the White House threw together a vague non-response that confirms nothing.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.