Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.
The 13th Congressional District Democratic Party Organization argues that state Rep. Karen Whitsett, D-Detroit, broke protocol by meeting with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence during an April 14 meeting of coronavirus survivors and for crediting hydroxychloroquine with saving her life.
Whitsett first made the claim that hydroxychloroquine – a commonly prescribed anti-malarial drug – saved her life during an appearance on Fox News' “The Ingraham Angle” earlier this month. She said that if it weren't for Trump pushing the drug through the Food and Drug Administration's approval process for off-label use and touting it repeatedly during his daily press briefings, she may not have survived the disease.
"I really want to say that you have to give this an opportunity," she said on the show. "For me, it saved my life. I only can go by what it is that I have gone through and what my story is, and I can't speak for anyone else. So that's not what I'm trying to do here. I'm only speaking for myself."
Earlier this week, however, an analysis of the use of the drug to treat COVID-19 patients in U.S. veterans hospitals found no benefit to using the drug and that there were more deaths among those given hydroxychloroquine versus standard care.
The nationwide study was not a rigorous experiment. But with 368 patients, it’s the largest look so far of hydroxychloroquine with or without the antibiotic azithromycin for COVID-19, which has killed more than 185,000 people worldwide as of Thursday.
The resolution to censure Whitsett does not specifically criticize her comments about hydroxychloroquine, but instead “misrepresented the needs and priorities" of Democratic leadership to the president and public. The resolution also says she's participated in events with the Republican Women's Federation of Michigan to express gratitude to the president.
The resolution states, according to a copy obtained by The Detroit News, that Whitsett "has repeatedly and publicly praised the president's delayed and misguided COVID-19 response efforts in contradiction with the scientifically based and action-oriented response" from Michigan's Democratic leadership, "endangering the health, safety and welfare of her constituents, the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan."
The 13th Congressional Democratic group is also upset at Whitsett for making negative comments about the Democratic Party and for refusing to come when asked to attend a “screening” of candidates for her house district.
"I don’t have time for politics," Whitsett said. "That’s ridiculous, during a pandemic, that they think I have time for a screening. … I have people that need me.”
Fox News’ Charles Creitz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.