Trump's back and forth with North Korea's Kim Jong Un has made people so anxious about nuclear war that they are buying tons of anti-radiation medication.
- Sales of the anti-radiation drug potassium iodide have dramatically increased since the beginning of 2018.
- The drug prevents damage to the thyroid gland from radioactive chemicals released during a nuclear reaction.
- Some vendors attribute this rise to President Donald Trump's tweet taunting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his nuclear button.
President Donald Trump's Twitter war with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made people stock up on anti-radiation medication in fear of a coming nuclear war — and the companies that produce it are already selling out.
Troy Jones, who manages the medication distributor nukepills.com, told Kaiser Health News that he has noticed a huge spike in the sales of potassium iodide in recent weeks. Potassium iodide is the medication used to protect the thyroid gland from one of the byproducts of nuclear fissions reactions, radioactive iodine.
"On Jan. 2, I basically got in a month's supply of potassium iodide and I sold out in 48 hours," Jones said.
Jones said he would normally sell only 8,400 doses during that time period, but instead he shipped about 140,000 doses — more than 16 times the usual amount.
Alan Morris, who heads Anbex, Inc. which also distributes potassium iodide, confirmed to KHN that he had also seen a rise in sales.
"We are a wonderful barometer of the level of anxiety in the country," Morris said.
This anxiety is likely tied to Trump's tweeting during the first days of 2018, during which he challenged Kim Jong Un on the size of his "nuclear button."
"North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.' Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!" Trump tweeted on January 2.
Jones told KHN he believes Trump's tweeting has contributed to the newfound popularity of his anti-radiation product.