Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City and the personal lawyer for President Donald Trump, openly bragged during a radio interview this week that he received specialized medical care for his coronavirus diagnosis, and that his “celebrity” status helped secure him the exceptional treatment.
While speaking in an interview with WABC, Giuliani said that he was treated with at least two of the same drugs that Trump received in early October, when the president was hospitalized for COVID-19 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
“If it wasn’t me, I wouldn’t have been put in a hospital frankly,” Giuliani candidly said during the interview. “Sometimes when you’re a celebrity, they’re worried if something happens to you they’re going to examine it more carefully, and do everything right.”
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Giuliani left the hospital on Wednesday evening, four days after he was admitted for care after his COVID-19 diagnosis.
Guiliani is the latest member of Trump’s inner-circle who was infected with COVID-19 and received medical treatment that lies out of reach of the average coronavirus patient. Besides Giuliani and Trump, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and current Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, both Trump loyalists, also received the same special concoction of medicines that appears to help treat the virus.
The two types of treatments given to Trump and his allies include “a monoclonal antibody developed by Eli Lilly and a cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies developed by Regeneron,” according to reporting from The New York Times. The treatment plans received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month to be used for patients with “mild to moderate” symptoms but who are at high risk.
However, as new daily cases of the virus continue to increase at an alarming rate, the EUA treatment plan offered to Trump and his allies is becoming less accessible for the average person. In some cases, hospitals have had to resort to a lottery system to determine which patients can receive them.
Trump has used his personalized and specialized treatment for COVID-19 to tell the public that it shouldn’t worry about contracting the virus. After receiving his world-class care at Walter Reed two months ago, Trump shared a video on social media telling Americans to overcome their fears about coronavirus.
“Don’t let [coronavirus] dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it. You’re going to beat it,” Trump said.
The following day, Trump shared a tweet about his hospital stay, inappropriately comparing coronavirus to the flu (even though in private he has admitted that COVID-19 is deadlier than influenza).
“Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu,” Trump wrote in his highly misleading tweet, which Twitter put a fact-check on. “Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!”
Since October 5, when Trump said that patients across the U.S. were going to “beat” coronavirus, more than 78,000 have died from the virus. As of December 9, nearly 290,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, with the past seven days seeing 2,288 deaths per day, on average — a rate that is more than three times higher than the average at the time when Trump shared a video telling people not to fear the virus.