President Donald Trump stunned reporters on Monday when he said he'd been taking the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine for weeks.
Trump has hailed the drug as a potential cure for the virus for months now, despite little more than anecdotal evidence to support his claim. In fact, multiple studies indicate that hydroxychloroquine is ineffective and even harmful to people with the virus.
This is because the drug carries with it intense side effects like hallucinations and increased potential for heart failure. In fact, Trump's own Federal Drug Administration recommends it only be taken in a hospital setting.
Given the side effects and the extreme danger of someone Trump's age taking the drug, people speculated that he was lying about the White House physician prescribing it. The White House physician later released a letter stating that he thought the benefits of hydroxychloroquine outweighed the potential risks, but didn't explicitly say he'd prescribed the drug to the President.
Despite the reasons for doubt, Trump's latest White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, balked at the suggestion that Trump would say he's on the drug when he isn't.
When asked the reason for the letter's careful wording not to explicitly confirm Trump had been prescribed the drug, 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."
It's not unusual for Trump and his allies to paint him as a victim, but in saying that any previous President would have been taken at his word, Kayleigh might be on to something.
That's because no other President has so shamelessly lied as frequently as Donald Trump. According to the Washington Post, Trump has made 18,000 "false or misleading claims" since his inauguration. Politifact indicates that nearly 70 percent of statements from Donald Trump range from "Mostly False" to "Pants On Fire."
Trump even lies about inconsequential things, like his father's birth country. When he's proven wrong, he digs his heels in and tries to rewrite reality, as he did when he edited an official hurricane forecast with permanent marker to seem retroactively right about earlier speculation on its path.
Of course people don't take him at his word.
McEnany was right, but not in the way that she wanted to be.
Sorry 'bout it, Kayleigh.