- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi advised Donald Trump not to take hydroxychloroquine.
- Pelosi described Trump, who is 73 years old, as “morbidly obese.”
- Standing at 6-feet three-inches tall, Trump weighed in at 243 pounds in 2019.
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday that Donald Trump not to take a controversial drug because of his physical attributes, hours after the president claimed he was taking it daily for about 10 days.
“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 his, shall we say, weight group,” Pelosi said during an interview with CNN host Anderson Cooper on Monday.
“I think it’s not a good idea,” she added.
Pelosi described Trump, who is 73 years old, as “morbidly obese” by citing his prior White House physicals that place him slightly above the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s requirements for being “obese.”
Standing at 6-feet 3-inches tall, Trump weighed in at 243 pounds in 2019 — four pounds greater than the previous year. His body mass index would place him at 30.4, slightly above the CDC’s guidelines for its overweight BMI range of 30.
During a press conference on Monday, Trump admitted to taking hydroxychloroquine, a malaria prophylactic drug, as a preventative measure to the coronavirus. Trump’s physician confirmed in a letter that Trump tested negative for the coronavirus, and that they were both concluded that “the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.”
“I take it,” Trump told reporters. “I would’ve told you that three, four days ago, but we never had a chance because you never asked me the question.”
But scientists have not concluded whether hydroxychloroquine can be used to treat or prevent the coronavirus. The Food and Drug Administration warned against using the drug “outside of the hospital setting or a clinical trial due to risk of heart rhythm problems,” and could trigger other problems, including death.
Despite not being backed by health officials, Trump appeared to fully endorse the drug.
“Here’s my evidence: I get a lot of positive calls about it,” Trump said on Monday. “The only negative I’ve heard was the study where they gave it — was it the VA? — with people that aren’t big Trump fans.”
“But I get a lot of tremendously positive news on the hydroxy,” Trump added. “And I say … what do you have to lose?”
It is unclear if bodyweight is a contributing factor to complications with hydroxychloroquine.