Coronavirus

Hillary Clinton mocks Trump's science cred

”Please do not take medical advice from a man who looked directly at a solar eclipse,” Clinton wrote on Twitter.

Hillary Clinton

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Tuesday made light of President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, using the occasion to recall one of Trump's previous clashes with scientific recommendations.

”Please do not take medical advice from a man who looked directly at a solar eclipse,” Clinton wrote on Twitter, a reference to an August 2017 eclipse during which Trump briefly looked at the sun without protective eye gear.

Though experts warn looking directly into the sun during an eclipse without eye protection can lead to vision damage, and the president eventually put on a pair of special glasses to watch the eclipse’s peak, he appeared to first glance up at the sun without them as cameras rolled and an aide shouted “Don’t look!”

Clinton has repeatedly taken potshots at her former 2016 rival in interviews and tweets -- criticizing his policies toward Russia and weighing in at fraught political moments, like last year's impeachment hearings.

Her latest swipe comes as Trump has begun to chafe at the advice of public health experts, who warn that relaxing social distancing strictures prematurely could have catastrophic consequences.

During White House press briefings on the administration's response to the outbreak, which has infected more than 43,000 individuals and killed more than 500 in the U.S. alone, Trump has routinely been corrected by his health officials on everything from the timeline for a coronavirus vaccine to the efficacy of drugs to treat the illness.

In recent days, Trump has taken to mentioning specific medicines as potential cures for the virus, including the anti-malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine. Research on the combination is still in the early stages, though a drug trial is set to start soon in New York.

Clinton also weighed in Tuesday on Trump's remarks about how he was weighing the damage to the economy wrought by efforts to fight the virus against the advice of epidemiologists.

“It's incredible that this has to be said: Letting thousands of people needlessly suffer and die is wrong,” Clinton wrote. “It's also not a recipe for rescuing the economy."