Whitsett shares COVID-19 story at White House, Trump says he doesn’t think she’ll vote for ‘Sleepy Joe’ Biden

By: - April 14, 2020 1:10 pm

President Donald Trump (left) and Rep. Karen Whitsett (right)

State Rep. Karen Whitsett (D-Detroit) was invited to the White House Tuesday along with other COVID-19 survivors.

She previously thanked President Donald Trump for his frequent endorsement of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug she said she took during her illness that she credits for saving her life. However, doctors have said there are risks with the drug, which has been linked to heart problems and even death in some patients.

The fact that Whitsett is a Democrat has been highlighted by right-wing media like Breitbart and she also appeared on Laura Ingraham’s show on Fox News.

“I was afraid I was afraid for my life,” Whitsett said at the media event Tuesday.

She said that the two hospitals near her were full so she stayed at home.

“I was filling up with fluid, my lungs, my breathing being labored, I felt if I didn’t get that medication — it was either the medication or I would die,” Whitsett said.

She continued, “I’m not telling anyone else’s story. … I’m telling you my story and my truth. And this is how I feel. And these are my words.”

Biden snags 4 more Michigan endorsements

After Whitsett described what she went through with COVID-19, Trump brought up the 2020 election and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who he has derided with a nickname, as he has for many political foes.

“Well, I’m not gonna speak for her, but I don’t see you’re voting for ‘Sleepy Joe’ [Biden]. But I’m not gonna ask her that question,” Trump said with a laugh and Whitsett smiled. “But if she votes for Sleepy Joe, I’d be surprised.”

Last week, Trump mentioned Whitsett at press conference and again brought up the election.

“She thought she was dead,” he said. “I think she’ll be voting for me now.”

Whitsett endorsed Biden in September, as the Advance previously reported.

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 21-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.