As the United States continues to grapple with the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump this week announced that he is taking hydroxychloroquine – a traditionally anti-malaria drug – which he has contended is effective against COVID-19. This is despite the lack of scientific evidence and academic corroboration vetting the drug’s ability to combat the disease.
Late night talk show hosts – many of them hosting their shows in their own homes – have jumped at the president’s claims related to the drug, according to the Washington Post. One of those late night hosts, however, used a joke invoking reverse mortgages to emphasize his disbelief at the president’s use of hydroxychloroquine.
“I happen to be taking it,” the president said to a pool of reporters on Monday referring to hydroxychloroquine. “A couple of weeks ago, I started taking it. I think it’s good, I’ve heard a lot of good stories. […] I get a lot of positive calls about it.”
NBC host Seth Meyers used the president’s anecdote about the calls he receives about the drug to make his HECM-fueled joke.
“You’ve got to be careful man, people your age get a lot of scam calls,” Meyers joked on the Tuesday episode of his talk show. “It wouldn’t surprise me if we found out the White House had a reverse mortgage on it.”
Last year, the late night reverse mortgage joke trend was focused on the now-presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
After Biden declared his candidacy for the presidency in a video announcement in which the former vice president sat in a comfortable-looking living room, two separate late night comedians – NBC’s Jimmy Fallon and CBS’ Stephen Colbert – jokingly compared the campaign announcement to a reverse mortgage commercial.
The reappearance of a reverse mortgage joke on national television could reinforce the idea that there is a great deal of recognizability for reverse mortgage industry television advertising, while also serving as an example of reputational difficulties that remain in the public consciousness.
Joe Biden became the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee after decisive primary victories in Florida and Illinois in mid-March, and is expected to face President Trump in this November’s general election.
Earlier this year, RMD examined the reverse mortgage-specific record and positions of the president and his administration.