Jun 5, 2019

Trump says he didn't know about military spending on Viagra

President Trump. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump admitted he didn't know about U.S. military spending on Viagra as he defended his ban on transgender military personnel during an interview broadcast on "Good Morning Britain" Monday.

Details: Show co-host Piers Morgan asked him why he felt the ban was needed, given Trump's recent tweets supporting the LGBTQ community. "Because they take massive amounts of drugs, in the U.S. military you are not allowed to take any drugs," Trump said. "You would have to break rules and regulations in order to have that."

What they're saying: Morgan pointed out the U.S. military "spends a lot more money, for example, on giving viagra to servicemen and women, well servicemen, than it does on medical bills for transgender people." The president responded, "I didn’t know they did that."

Context: The Military Times reported in 2017 the Defense Department spent $84.2 million on erectile dysfunction medications such as Viagra — 10 times more than it spent on health care services for transgender personnel.

  • Research by the think tank Rand Corporation showed in 2016 gender transition-related health care costs would increase the military's active duty health budget by not more than $8.4 million per year.

Go deeper: Trump's U.K. state visit in photos

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 a.m. ET: 1,498,833 — Total deaths: 89,733 — Total recoveries: 337,074Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 a.m. ET: 432,438 — Total deaths: 14,808 — Total recoveries: 24,125Map.
  3. Business: Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion amid coronavirus crisis — Another 6.6 million jobless claims filed last week
  4. Public health latest: The federal government is in the process of deploying 90% of its stockpiled medical equipment to fight the pandemic.
  5. States latest: New York has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe — Chicago's Cook County jail is largest-known source of coronavirus in U.S.
  6. Poll: 1 in 10 Americans believe economy will never return to normal from coronavirus.
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Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion amid coronavirus crisis

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at a press conference in March. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The Federal Reserve announced Thursday that it will support with the coronavirus-hit economy with up to $2.3 trillion in loans to businesses, state and city governments — made possible by Treasury funds set aside in the government stimulus package.

Why it matters: The Fed has taken more action amid the coronavirus outbreak than it has in any other financial crisis in U.S. history in an effort to blunt the effects of the resultant economic shutdown.

DetailsArrowUpdated 8 mins ago - Economy & Business

Another 6.6 million jobless claims filed last week amid coronavirus crisis

Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics via FRED; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Another 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, the Labor Department announced Thursday.

Why it matters: It adds to the staggering 10 million jobless claims in recent weeks — by far the sharpest spikes in American history — as the world economy has ground to a halt in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak.