There shouldn’t be a partisan divide when it comes to a deadly pandemic, but that’s exactly what’s happened after Democratic Michigan state Rep. Karen Whitsett expressed her gratitude to President Donald Trump for touting the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which she credits for her recovery from COVID-19.
Now she has some advice for the president’s detractors: “Politics needs to be put aside at a time like this.”
Along with former NFL player Mark Campbell, who also took the drug and recovered, Whitsett was interviewed on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” Wednesday to speak about her recovery.
“I did not know that saying thank you had a political line,” she said during a White House meeting Tuesday with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
“Had you not brought this to the forefront of the HQ, of being able to put this out here, I wouldn’t be here today to even have this conversation with you,” she told the president, referring to his outspoken support for use of the drug.
When host Steve Doocy asked about what it was like for Whitsett, a Democrat, to sit with the Republican president and vice president, she said it “sickened” her that the old partisan divides still remain during a pandemic.
“We have a president that’s in the White House — not a Republican president — we have a president that is in the White House,” Whitsett said. “And at this time right now, everyone needs to get behind the president of the United States and the vice president of the United States, and we need to simply unite together.”
After Trump named hydroxychloroquine as one of the drugs that would be a “game-changer” during a White House coronavirus news briefing on March 19, the reaction from some pundits and politicians on the left bordered on hysteria.
The criticism of Trump’s endorsement of the treatment hit a fever pitch after a highly publicized tragedy in which a man died and his wife was sickened after they ingested fish tank cleaner, which contained a similar-sounding compound.
NBC News correspondent Heidi Przybyla retweeted the network’s story with quotes about Trump’s alleged culpability in the incident.
“Her husband is dead & she’s in the ICU after ingesting chloroquine: ‘We saw Trump on TV — every channel — & all of his buddies and that this was safe,’ she said. ‘Trump kept saying it was basically pretty much a cure.’
“She implored @VaughnHillyard: ‘Educate the people.'”
?Her husband is
dead & she’s in the ICU after ingesting
“We saw Trump on TV — every
channel — & all of his buddies and that this was
safe,” she said.
“Trump kept saying it was
basically pretty much a cure.”
Heidi Przybyla (@HeidiNBC) March
Politics isn’t often a life or death arena, but in this case, where the establishment media sought to dismiss a promising treatment simply because it was touted by Trump, it could have had grave consequences.
Both Campbell and Whitsett spoke about their gratefulness for their recovery, and regardless of who publicized or criticized the drug, the fact that they are alive to tell the story should be reason enough to lay aside the partisan divide.
Coronavirus doesn’t ask for party registration, it simply infects the next human host. Hopefully, Whitsett’s political party and its allies will follow her admirable example. Their lives may depend on it someday.
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