A pharmacist who fills prescriptions for some members of Congress told reporters that a few suffer from “pretty serious health problems,” including Alzheimer’s disease. He added that certain lawmakers “might not even remember what happened yesterday.”
Mike Kim, the owner of Grubb’s Pharmacy, told STAT News on Wednesday that he has prepared medication for members of Congress to treat conditions such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
“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,” Kim said. “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.’”
Founded in 1867, Grubb’s is the oldest community pharmacy in Washington, DC. Employing five drivers, the drugstore delivers as many as 100 prescriptions a day to lawmakers on Capitol Hill, which is less than four blocks away.
Kim later retracted his statement in a follow-up story with STAT News on Wednesday, saying that he is “not aware of any member that actually has Alzheimer’s.” Kim added that he would not disclose personal medical information even if he did know.
“I was speaking very broadly about disease states that the general American population have and that it also applies to everyone including members of the US House and Senate since they are also people just like you and I,” Kim added.
The Alzheimer’s Association defines the condition as “a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior.”
In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, memory loss was described as “mild,” but in later stages, the association said the disease can cause individuals to lose their ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment.
The group states that the greatest known risk factor associated with the disease is increasing age, adding that the majority of individuals with Alzheimer’s are at least 65-year-old.
The Congressional Research Service states that the current Congress is “among the oldest in US history.” The average age in the House of Representatives is 57.8, and the average age in the Senate is 61.8.
The news caused an uproar on social media, with many Twitter users trying to figure out which lawmakers have the debilitating condition.