President Donald Trump offered Democratic state Rep. Karen Whitsett of Detroit, Michigan use of the White House physician Tuesday to treat her Lyme disease, which posed additional risks as she suffered from the coronavirus she recently recovered from.
“I’m a little surprised I can’t do something with your Lyme disease. Lyme disease is really tough,” Trump said as Whitsett described her symptoms, which include increased lethargy.
Whitsett replied that she’s been working to support Michiganders seeking treatment for the condition, which is an issue that rests in the hands of the federal government.
“I need you on that,” she told the President, adding that she doesn’t have a doctor “any longer” in Michigan who can treat her Lyme disease.
“I could even have you see the doctor over here,” Trump said as he called the doctor into the room and directed members of his staff to “Ask the White House doctor to come. Seriously. Because Lyme disease can be very very bad… Is it legal for me to use the White House doctor?”
He added, “You know what, if it’s not, I will suffer the repercussions I don’t care. The Democrats might not like that, you know.”
The President’s offer and familiarity with the disease came as a surprise to Whitsett, who was visiting the White House to participate in a roundtable of coronavirus survivors sharing their stories of recovery, many of them applauding the President’s authorization of the emergency use of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug.
“If President Trump had not talked about this, it wouldn’t have been something that would be accessible for anyone to be able to get right now,” the lawmaker told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham last week.
She reiterated that sentiment as she sat alongside Trump Tuesday, saying she was grateful he spoke publicly about the possible benefits of using the controversial hydroxychloroquine therapeutic treatment.
“I wouldn’t be here today to even have this conversation with you and to be able to talk about the needs of Detroit and to talk about the people who really need this,” she said, crediting the anti-malarial medication for curing her of COVID19.
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American and Southwest stand by vaccine mandate, despite Abbott’s ban
American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are still planning to comply with President Biden’s executive order regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. The order requires all their employees to be vaccinated by Dec. 8t. As a result, they will be ignoring Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on vaccine mandates.
Folks, vaccination requirements work. pic.twitter.com/XuBsOQxGaN— President Biden (@POTUS) October 9, 2021
Abbott announced his own executive order, effectively banning mandates even from private employers, on Tuesday. “In another instance of federal overreach, the Biden Administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions that threaten Texas’ continued recovery from the COVID-19 disaster,” Abbott said. “The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced.”
Yet both airlines are requiring their employees to be vaccinated by Nov. 24. This comes despite Southwest’s impromptu cancellation of over 2,000 flights over the weekend. At the time, the airline blamed the cancellations on air traffic control and weather conditions. However, SaraACarter.com was unable to verify that any other airline had to cancel near as many flights for the same reasons. This has left many to speculate that Southwest actually cancelled flights due to their employees walking out as a direct result of the mandate.
Reporter Jack Posobiec tweeted out a flyer circulating among the anti-vaxx Southwest employees. Currently, they are planning a protest outside of Southwest headquarters next Monday. The protest will be called “Freedom Not Force.”
Southwest told Reuters it “would be expected to comply with the President’s Order to remain compliant as a federal contractor.” In addition, American similarly said Abbott’s order does not change anything.
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.
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