Another day, another confusing press conference.
This week, Trump made a bizarre statement at one of his press conferences, where he said he was taking hydroxychloroquine, a drug that some people believed could reduce your chances of contracting Covid-19. It’s usually used to treat malaria.
It’s worth clarifying – there’s very little evidence to indicate that this is the case, and other people rely on hydroxychloroquine for other medical conditions. But when Trump said that he had been taking it, reporters and other figures called his bluff and suggested that he was lying.
Then, his press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, released a letter from White House physician Sean Conley. Conley said that they had talked about the benefits and downsides of taking it.
At a press conference, a reporter asked about how carefully the letter was worded – the letter didn’t say that he had prescribed hydroxychloroquine, for example. But McEnany said, "The reason is the president of the United States said it, and if it were any other president of the United States, the media would take him at his word."
She was basically saying that the only reason people didn’t think he was actually taking the drug is because of who he is. McEnany is probably right – if it were any other president, people may be more likely to take them at their word. Some people pointed out that McEnany had basically just admitted that Trump is known for telling lies.
As some pointed out on Twitter, the fact that people were questioning what Trump said is not an issue with the media.
Even George Conway, the husband of Trump surrogate Kellyanne Conway, and a notable Trump critic, weighed in about why people were skeptical that Trump was doing what he said.
According to the Washington Post, Trump has made over 18,000 ‘false or misleading claims’ since he became president in 2017, so it’s probably more than understandable that people want to double check what he’s saying.