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President at COVID-19 Event: Lyme is Serious!

President Trump hosted Michigan State Rep. Karen Whitsett — who credits his promotion of a malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, with her recovery from coronavirus — and other COVID-19 survivors at the White House. During their informal discussions, Rep. Whitsett, who nearly lost her life to COVID-19, brought up her chronic Lyme disease as an underlying condition. Throughout the 41-minute meeting, President Trump highlighted how serious and devastating Lyme disease is, stating that it “can kill you”.

LDA President Pat Smith said, “It is a good thing for Lyme patients that the President is speaking about how serious Lyme disease really is—the message coming in an unscripted discussion on another serious disease sweeping the world, COVID-19, which preys heavily on those with chronic conditions. Lyme is often not included in that category but is looked upon by many in mainstream medicine and in government as easily cured with a few weeks of antibiotics, a myth still existing after 45 years of Lyme disease.” 

Pat Smith continued, “Patients succeeded in getting an HHS Working Group formed to address the issues of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases but there is still strong resistance to Lyme getting the attention it requires─ still being marginalized despite about 350,000 cases occurring annually in the US alone. The President’s open interest and willingness to discuss it publically as being serious should put all levels of government on notice that it is critical chronic Lyme disease be addressed.”

Remarks by President Trump in a Meeting with Recovered COVID-19 Patients

Excerpts of Lyme Disease Discussion During Meeting (below video)

 

EXCERPTS OF LYME DISEASE DISCUSSION DURING MEETING

 

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: The shortenings of — the shortening of breath is what really got me afraid because I do have Lyme disease. And thank you for always mentioning about Lyme disease.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. Yeah. No, Lyme disease is a big deal.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: Thank you for always bringing that to the forefront.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you think you still have Lyme disease?

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: I do. I have chronic Lyme disease because I was never treated in time.

THE PRESIDENT: Can that be — can you get rid of it?

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: I’m hoping that we’ll talk about that.

THE PRESIDENT: Lyme disease is a thing that people don’t talk about. It is brutal —

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: It is brutal.

THE PRESIDENT: And if you have a certain type of blood, you have no chance.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: It’s brutal. It’s brutal. And then, on top of having COVID-19 with it, it is a nightmare.

THE PRESIDENT: Incredible.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: But the breathing is what scared me the most. And it came — I went from 0 to 100. It was from getting tested that day on March 31st to trying to do a few things around the house, to just all of a sudden my breathing became labored.


(Later In Discussion)

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. No, if — by the way, we have tremendous endorsements. But if it were somebody else other than President Trump that put it forward — if some other person put it forward, they’d say, “Oh, let’s go with it.” You know.

What do you have to lose? They’ve been taking it for 40 years for malaria, which — by the way, it’s an unbelievable malaria pill. Unbelievable lupus pill. Unbelievable. In fact, the problem we had is people with lupus —

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: And with Lyme disease.

THE PRESIDENT: Huh?

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: And with Lyme disease. It was (inaudible) with Lyme disease.

THE PRESIDENT: And with — I heard Lyme disease, too.


(Later In Discussion)

THE PRESIDENT: I’m a little surprised they can’t do something with your Lyme disease. The Lyme disease is really terrible.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: That’s because that’s federal. I need you.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. Well, but —

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: I need you on that.

THE PRESIDENT: — I mean, I could even have you see the doctor over here, because White — White House doctor. Ask the White House doctor to come.

PARTICIPANT: (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: Seriously. Because Lyme disease can be very, very bad.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: Yeah. I don’t have a doctor any longer.

THE PRESIDENT: But it also can be — it also can — is it legal for me to allow her to use the White House doctor? You know what? If it’s not, I will suffer the repercussions. (Laughter.) I don’t care.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: Well, there are —

THE PRESIDENT: The Democrats might not like that.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: Well, there are a lot of people in Michigan and I do have eight Lyme bills that I am putting forward for Lyme disease —

THE PRESIDENT: Very good. Do it.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: — because you cannot get treated in Michigan, as a doctor sees fit, for Lyme disease.

THE PRESIDENT: People don’t know about Lyme disease. It’s a very bad —

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: It’s horrible.

THE PRESIDENT: — very bad thing. And it —

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: So it is something I’m working on.

THE PRESIDENT: But it is something, over a period of time, you can treat generally. It also can kill you. Lyme disease — if you —

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: If you have a certain type blood, you get Lyme disease —

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: — it’s over.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: I’m glad you know that.

THE PRESIDENT: It’s literally over.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: I’m glad you know that.

THE PRESIDENT: I think type O — type O blood is not too good. If you have type O blood, stay out of the woods. Right?

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: It’s not even the woods. I got this at home at five years old.

THE PRESIDENT: You got it at home?

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: In Detroit.

THE PRESIDENT: But usually it’s from a deer tick, right?

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: It is a deer tick.

THE PRESIDENT: So where did the tick come from?

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: Well, the tick does not discriminate. It will get on anything.

THE PRESIDENT: So it comes somehow, right?

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: Yes. A squirrel, a bug, a bird — anything. It doesn’t discriminate.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, it’s like when I hit a ball into the rough in golf. (Laughter.) You know what I say? “Enjoy yourself. I’m not going in there.” (Laughter.)
That Lyme disease is pretty tough, right?

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: It is.

THE PRESIDENT: It’s a bad one. I’d like you to see our doctor before you leave, okay?

STATE REPRESENTATIVE WHITSETT: Thank you.


(Last Statements on Lyme)

THE PRESIDENT: But what do I know? Am I allowed to take Karen over to see the White House doctors, see if we can help her out a little bit with Lyme disease? Because Lyme disease is a problem and there are some answers. What do you think? Are you guys going to report me for being a horrible human being? For doing something illegal? Did I do something illegal?

Q We can’t advise you on that, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: And then impeach me. Then you’ll impeach me because I tried to help her out with her Lyme disease. Do you think maybe? Because I’d like to do that. What do you think? Should I do it?

Q I can’t advise you on that, sir. But I — I certainly hope that she —

THE PRESIDENT: See, they never like to take chances, but I do. So, we’ll take a chance on it. Okay?


See Also:  Rep. Smith Questions COVID-19’s Impact on Lyme Patients