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© Reuters / Erin Scott; Reuters / Carlos Barria
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was cheered by President Donald Trump's critics after dubbing him "morbidly obese," even making the phrase trend online, but many have condemned what they see as a double standard over "fat shaming."

Pelosi's comment came during an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday, telling the pundit she was concerned about the president's health after he said he was taking hydroxychloroquine - a controversial treatment for Covid-19 which Trump says he's taking as a preventative measure. Speaking on air, Pelosi "diagnosed" the US leader as "morbidly obese."

Trump's critics online wasted little time before cheering on Pelosi's dig at the president, while simultaneously racing to explain that it was not an example of "fat shaming" - which for some progressives is tantamount to a hate crime. "Morbid obesity" is a scientific term which Pelosi used accurately, many argued, insisting she did not intend it as an insult.

Some netizens couldn't help but cry hypocrisy, however, predicting a wholly different reaction from the same critics had Trump or a conservative made the same remark.

"So fat shaming is cool when it's someone you don't like," one commenter said, with another observing "we'd all be banned from Twitter for fat shaming if we said it about a protected Democrat. But they fat shame an elderly man & it's YAS QUEEN! SLAY!"

Even those openly opposed to the president pointed out the double standard, some suggesting people stick to his policies rather than his weight, and that such an insult "won't hurt Trump" anyway.

Obesity is considered to be an added risk factor when it comes to Covid-19, and Trump is indeed obese (judging by his physical from last year), but he does not qualify as morbidly obese - if you believe the White House report on his health. Trump has a BMI just above 30, right at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) threshold for obesity. While there are different body mass index interpretations, it is generally believed that a person is "severely" or "morbidly" obese if their BMI is higher than 40.