Popular democrat Nancy Pelosi has been accused of effectively fat-shaming United States president Donald Trump.
Pelosi labelled Trump “morbidly obese” and has since been criticised for her “fat-phobic” remarks.
Her response came after Trump revealed he was taking hydroxychloroquine – a drug deemed unsafe by health officials – to guard against the coronavirus.
“As far as the president is concerned, he’s our president and I would rather he would not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group, and his, shall we say, weight group, morbidly obese, they say,” she told CNN.
“So I think it’s not a good idea.”
Trump is 73 years old and currently isn’t showing any symptoms of having contracted the virus. Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-malarial drug being studied by the US and other countries as possible treatment for Covid-19.
“We have noticed cardiotoxicity, which means it has harmful effects on the heart muscle, and we’ve had reports of deaths due to taking an overdose of hydroxychloroquine,” senior clinical lecturer at the University of Exeter, doctor Bharat Pankhania, told Sky News.
“In this case it’s the president of the United States, so he may get other people to start taking it, which they shouldn’t. They may stop taking precautions against getting infections, they may take an overdose and die. This is serious.”
Meanwhile, a vaccine trial in the US has revealed promising early data. The vaccine reportedly generated protective antibodies for eight volunteers, who participated in the trial by Moderna. The results are led by the National Institutes of Health.
“These are significant findings but it is a phase one clinical trial that only included eight people. It was designed for safety. Not for efficacy,” said infectious disease expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, doctor Amesh Adalja.
Moderna’s chief medical officer Tal Zaks added: “In the context of a pandemic, we expect demand to far outstrip supply and the lower the dose, the more people we expect to be able to protect.”
Moderna will start the second stage of the trial soon – and a third in July 2020.
US regulators have fast-tracked the vaccine trial and provided $483m (£396m) of funding.