The owner of the Capitol Hill pharmacy that supplies prescription drugs for members of Congress and staff has sparked a frenzy of speculation after claiming he gives meds to lawmakers with “pretty serious health problems” and appearing to question their mental faculties.
“At first it’s cool, and then you realize, I’m filling some drugs that are for some pretty serious health problems as well. And these are the people that are running the country,” Grubb's Pharmacy's Dr. Michael Kim told STAT News, reportedly citing treatments for conditions like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
“It makes you kind of sit back and say, ‘Wow, they’re making the highest laws of the land and they might not even remember what happened yesterday,'” he said.
By Thursday, Kim was busy cleaning up the fallout from his comments, as social media lit up with questions about which lawmakers he might have been talking about.
The pharmacist clarified to the same publication that he didn't actually know whether a member of Congress has Alzheimer's.
In an email to Fox News on Thursday, Kim apologized and said his comments were taken out of context.
“The comment was made in a hypothetical joking way which was not conveyed in the article,” Kim said in an email. “I know that patient privacy and serious health conditions are no joking matter and I’m sorry that the comments gave the impression that I was actually talking about someone specific, but I was only talking in a speculative manner without anyone in mind.”
The pharmacy attracts members, staffers, lobbyists and families in the area, and has done so since 1997. The pharmacy makes prescription deliveries to the Capitol's Office of the Attending Physician (OAP), according to STAT.
But Kim underscored that he had “no personal knowledge of any members with Alzheimer’s.”
“But even if I did, I could not tell you or anyone else because of privacy laws,” Kim wrote in the email. “I never said that anyone actually had Alzheimer’s. The comment was taken out of context during a lighthearted conversation and was a broad comment made in a hypothetical nature.”
Kim told Fox News he would “never disclose” the medical condition of his customers.
“My customers know me and my business and trust that they will get all the facts before jumping to any conclusions,” Kim wrote.