President Donald Trump said something Thursday that, frankly, should have been front page, top of the fold, first in the stack news in every newspaper and on every cable and network news broadcast – but wasn’t.
In fact, as of this moment, his remarkable and haunting comment has gone mostly unnoticed by all major media.
It’s something that, if another president had said it, would be talked about for days and weeks.
And it’s definitely something that should worry all Americans, not just his supporters.
During an appearance at a Whirlpool factory in Clyde, Ohio, the president was discussing a recent executive action he took to lower the cost of prescription medications for Americans.
“Well, the rebate that I’m doing cuts out the middleman and reduces costs, and the money goes back to the people purchasing the drugs,” the president said.
“So, I have a lot of enemies. This may be the last time you see me for a while. I have a lot of very rich enemies. They’re not happy with what I’m doing. But I figure we have one chance to do it. No other president is gonna do what I do.”
What in the world….? Is the president really that worried that some Big Pharma cartel hit man or hit group is going to take him out or something? Why else would he suggest he’s not going to be seen in public “for a while?” How long is “a while?” Does the Secret Service know? The FBI? What is anyone doing about it?
Can you imagine if Barack Obama had said something like that? Journalists would break body parts scrambling to get before a camera to broadcast it or to a computer terminal to report it.
A parade of security experts and pharmacy industry analysts would be featured on-air and in print for days, maybe weeks.
Democrats in Congress would demand that he be given extra security details, and that pharmacy executives be hauled before them to explain why they’re threatening Obama. They would then demand that the same executives not be believed and be immediately jailed without trial and without conviction.
Look, there’s no question that there is a lot of money in the pharmaceutical industry.
Two weeks after President Trump signed an executive order “Lowering Drug Prices By Putting America First,” the White House still hasn’t released the text of the order. The unorthodox move is apparently a leverage play, an attempt to squeeze drug companies into offering concessions, but so far there’s little indication Trump is getting the deal he was after.
Trump had American flags and women in white lab coats behind him, his big presidential sharpie marker in hand when he signed the order July 24.
“This one will go into effect on Aug. 25 if we don’t make a deal,” Trump said at the time as he held the order up for the cameras.
“The basic idea is that in other countries, prescription drugs cost less than they do in the United States. So under Trump’s plan, for drugs administered in a doctor’s office or hospital setting, Medicare would start paying the lowest price in the world. He calls it ‘favored nations’ pricing,” NPR noted further.
Drug companies like their prices, no question. And if they stand to lose billions of dollars, what would they do to protect their profits?