US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was cheered by President Donald Trump’s critics after dubbing him “morbidly obese,” even making the phrase trend online, but many have condemned what they see as a double standard over “fat shaming.”
Pelosi’s comment came during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday, telling the pundit she was concerned about the president’s health after he said he was taking hydroxychloroquine – a controversial treatment for Covid-19 which Trump says he’s taking as a preventative measure. Speaking on air, Pelosi “diagnosed” the US leader as “morbidly obese.”
“I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group, and in his, shall we say, weight group: ‘Morbidly obese,’ they say,” says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Pres. Trump’s revelation he is taking hydroxychloroquine. pic.twitter.com/0ImjpEjg9q
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) May 19, 2020
Trump’s critics online wasted little time before cheering on Pelosi’s dig at the president, while simultaneously racing to explain that it was not an example of “fat shaming” – which for some progressives is tantamount to a hate crime. “Morbid obesity” is a scientific term which Pelosi used accurately, many argued, insisting she did not intend it as an insult.
Anyone notice they’ve started giving the bully a taste of his own medicine recently? Called him an Imbecile, “not even pretending to be in charge” and now #morbidlyobese 😂Gloves are off. I feel more optimistic now 🤷🏾♂️
— Hervé Damas, MD, MBA🇭🇹 (@DamasHerve) May 19, 2020
Some netizens couldn’t help but cry hypocrisy, however, predicting a wholly different reaction from the same critics had Trump or a conservative made the same remark.
“So fat shaming is cool when it’s someone you don’t like,” one commenter said, with another observing “we’d all be banned from Twitter for fat shaming if we said it about a protected Democrat. But they fat shame an elderly man & it’s YAS QUEEN! SLAY!”
I dont mess with trump but it’s funny the same people calling him #morbidlyobese are probably the same ones who cry fat shaming if someone calls lizzo fat 🤷🏿♂️
— DBK🤘🏿 (@DatBoiKilla27) May 19, 2020
Even those openly opposed to the president pointed out the double standard, some suggesting people stick to his policies rather than his weight, and that such an insult“won’t hurt Trump” anyway.
Nancy Pelosi didn’t include a guaranteed monthly stipend in the House’s bill, but you all are celebrating her comments calling Trump #morbidlyobese. Gee, I wonder why we’re so bad at fighting Trump.
— Elad Nehorai (@PopChassid) May 19, 2020
Obesity is considered to be an added risk factor when it comes to Covid-19, and Trump is indeed obese (judging by his physical from last year), but he does not qualify as morbidly obese – if you believe the White House report on his health. Trump has a BMI just above 30, right at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) threshold for obesity. While there are different body mass index interpretations, it is generally believed that a person is “severely” or “morbidly” obese if their BMI is higher than 40.
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