Martin Shkreli: Hillary Clinton's Health Is 'Much Ado About Nothing'
On Monday morning’s PreMarket Prep, infamous pharmaceutical executive and “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli discussed Hillary Clinton’s health and whether or not voters should be concerned. Clinton was one of many politicians and journalists that singled out Shkreli for jacking up the cost of AIDS drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill during his time as Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO.
Shkreli made headlines on Sunday when he heckled Clinton as she left her daughter’s Manhattan apartment, yelling “Why are you so sick?” and posting videos of the incident on Twitter.
Clinton was forced to leave a 9/11 event on Sunday because she was feeling ill and was later diagnosed with pneumonia. Her campaign now says she is “recovering nicely,” but they have cancelled a two-day trip to California this week, presumably to allow Clinton to rest.
When asked whether Clinton’s recent pneumonia diagnosis should be cause for concern, Shkreli was surprisingly dismissive of Clinton’s health issues.
“I don’t think it’s a concern. I try to have some fun with it. I think the media is often a very silly institution,” Shkreli told Benzinga.
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“I just think she’s old. She’s 68. That’s public knowledge," he continued. "I don’t love her policies. I prefer the other candidate. I think she’s fine, and it’s sort of much ado about nothing. Obviously when you’re 68 your health starts to deteriorate.”
Instead of focusing on Clinton specifically, Shkreli took the opportunity to highlight the broader issue of candidate medical transparency.
“We don’t know a lot about presidential candidates’ health, which is unfortunate. We trust these physicians that are very close to the candidates. I think we should have a little bit more information when we vote. But in general I think both candidates are probably just fine,” he concluded.
In a brand new LA Times general election poll out on Monday, Clinton and 70-year-old rival Donald Trump are tied among likely November voters.
Shkreli was also asked for his opinion if Hillary Clinton's proposed policy of placing price caps on biotechnology firms are weighing in on valuations.
Shkreli acknowledged that this theory is weighing on many investors, but fears among investors could also be seen as being overblown, at least on a historical basis. He pointed out that Bill Clinton attempted to nationalize healthcare in the 1990s and this represented a "big fear" at the time but "nothing came to pass."
Shkreli suggested that even Obamacare, another major fear among investors, had "literally no impact" on pharmaceutical businesses.
"In general, politicians talk - they huff and puff and try to blow the house down but at the end of the day, they don't really have an effective way to actually put those policies in place," Shkreli continued. "Barring a wholesale changeover in the government, which is pretty rare, I think we are going to have the checks and balances you would expect so nothing rash will happen."
Bottom line, Shkreli said there is always "big risks" to the healthcare sector but the fundamental purpose of the industry of creating life-saving medicine will guarantee an incentive in place remains to continue supporting new therapies. Shkreli is set to be tried next year on eight criminal charges, including fraud and conspiracy, stemming from his disastrous stint as a hedge fund portfolio manager.
The following headlines were in Benzinga Pro as Shkreli was on the line.
Listen to the full interview in the clip below. PreMarket Prep is a daily trading ideas show that focuses on technical analysis and actionable short term trades. You can listen to the show live every morning from 8-9 a.m. EThere, or catch the podcast.
Jayson Derrick contributed to this story.
Photo credit: Flickr
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