Clinton: ‘Please do not take medical advice from a man who looked directly at a solar eclipse’

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday knocked President Trump’s response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, tweeting: “Please do not take medical advice from a man who looked directly at a solar eclipse.”

The retort from Trump’s 2016 White House rival makes reference to Trump temporarily taking off his protective glasses during an August 2017 eclipse and looking up at the sky. 

Clinton has been vocal about her opposition to the Trump administration’s response to the global outbreak, spelling out several policy solutions she said should be immediately implemented by the White House.

Earlier this month, she tweeted that the federal government should have implemented actions such as quarantines and federally mandated paid sick leave.

Trump has faced criticism for his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected more than 46,548 people in the United States as of Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

His appearances at daily press briefings have muddled his administration’s official messaging on the outbreak. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Science on Sunday in a remarkable interview that he is working with the White House coronavirus task force to help ensure Trump’s remarks about COVID-19 are accurate, though he admitted that the effort has faced hurdles.

“I can’t jump in front of the microphone and push him down,” Fauci said after being asked about Trump’s repeated assertions that China could have disclosed the discovery of the coronavirus up to four months ago. The disease first appeared in the central city of Wuhan in December.

Trump has frequently talked up the potential for successful treatment of COVID-19 by an anti-malarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, despite a lack of firm evidence of its efficacy.

When asked on Friday if the drug could treat coronavirus, Fauci replied, “no.”

“The information that you’re referring to specifically is anecdotal,” Fauci added. “It was not done in a controlled clinical trial, so you really can’t make any definitive statement about it.”

Health care company Banner Health announced Monday that a patient had died and his wife was in critical condition after they apparently took chloroquine phosphate in hopes of it being a possible cure for coronavirus.

The chemical, which is available in tablet form as an antimalarial medication, is also an additive commonly used to clean fish tanks at aquariums. 

In a statement, the company urged Americans against taking drugs not prescribed for them in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has sickened thousands of people across the country. 

“Given the uncertainty around COVID-19, we understand that people are trying to find new ways to prevent or treat this virus, but self-medicating is not the way to do so,” said Dr. Daniel Brooks, Banner Poison and Drug Information Center medical director. “The last thing that we want right now is to inundate our emergency departments with patients who believe they found a vague and risky solution that could potentially jeopardize their health.”

– Updated 7:18 p.m. 

Tags Anthony Fauci Clinton tweets Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Hillary Clinton solar eclipse
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