Bernie Sanders, the former presidential hopeful for the Democratic Party, and Martin Shkreli, the pharmaceutical executive who came to public notice after he drastically hiked the price of a certain life-saving drug, are at opposite sides of a few particular political issues, and it came bubbling to the surface on social media recently. Shkreli responded tartly to a tweet from Sanders, leading the senator to use him as an example — of a crook.
It seems to have started when Bernie Sanders tweeted, on Tuesday, about the motives of drug companies. He indicated that corporations are putting profits over people — which has greater implications when those corporations provide medical needs, rather than consumer goods for entertainment or other optional services.
Drug corporations aren't working for the interests of consumers. They're— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) October 25, 2016
concerned about their profits.
Shkreli, who was the subject of public outrage when he decided to hike the cost of a drug vital for AIDS patients by about 5,000 percent, might have been exactly who Bernie had in mind. He might have thought so himself, because he responded in vehement fashion.
Unfortunately, due to Shkreli’s use of a vulgar term for excrement in his response, literally half of his two-word statement can’t be reproduced here, but his statement could perhaps be understood as, “Yes, what Senator Sanders says is not only accurate but obvious.”
He also responded to another post by Sanders about pharmeceutical price hikes. Bernie tweeted, on Wednesday, a video clip of himself telling Bill Maher his problem with medical prices. Specifically, Sanders says that too many people can’t afford to purchase the medicines prescribed for them. In sharing the video, he refers to the pharmeceutical executives behind the price points as crooks.
These guys in the pharmaceutical industry, in my humble opinion, are crooks. pic.twitter.com/gqVI29BvyP— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) October 27, 2016
This, too, Shkreli handled in a way that requires a bit of censoring due to expletives. Quoting Sanders’ tweet, he responded, “And give me my donation back, [redacted expletive]. I didn’t pay for you to sell out to Hillary ‘soon to be arrested’ Clinton.”
On this demand, Martin Shkreli is perhaps a bit late — as Inquisitr reported over a year ago, Sanders passed the donation on to a clinic specializing in AIDS and HIV treatment.
It seems on Saturday, Senator Sanders noticed Martin Shkreli was responding to him, and used his tweet as evidence of his prior statement: that certain folks in the pharmeceutical industry are crooks.
Pharmaceutical industry executives are a bunch of crooks, and they're proud of it. pic.twitter.com/kxHm85kmVf— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) October 29, 2016
This seemed to set Shkreli off anew, and also drew attention to him from other social media users, causing him to respond by declaring that an arrest record doesn’t affect drug sales, and to order Sanders to stop talking about him.
turns out patients and doctors don't check court records before prescribing medicine https://t.co/2gQV1Takgf— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) October 29, 2016
You're a loser who doesn't understand economics or business. Keep my name out of your mouth. Take your communism to a country that wants it. https://t.co/IRXegnOO6p— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) October 29, 2016
With Martin Shkreli’s tweets showing this level of vitriol, it’s reasonable to doubt whether such a public figure could openly tweet slurs and verbal abuse at a U.S. senator. Though Shkreli’s (verified) account was apparently hacked at one point last year, he is reported to have gotten control back pretty quickly.
The posts also aren’t really out of line with previous political posts from Shkreli, who has also promoted conspiracy theories such as the one about Hillary Clinton’s visit to her daughter’s apartment on September 11, 2016, actually being a visit to a secret medical facility.
Guess what Chelsea Clinton's apartment (that HRC visited today) used to be? A home health center.https://t.co/mRD2xCazBt— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) September 12, 2016
Fact-checking site Snopes determined that, while there was indeed once an office for a Home Health Services company, the facility was cleared out long before it was converted to luxury apartments.
It’s also not the first time Shkreli has tweeted rather vitriolic statements that could draw negative attention for a public figure.
look who will smack you if i see you https://t.co/LoXpdmezE1— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) September 18, 2016
If Bernie Sanders has noticed Martin Shkreli’s last few angry responses to him, and has any intent of responding to the notorious pharm exec again, he hasn’t done so yet.
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]