All we really know for sure is that the President made an unscheduled visit to Walter Reed yesterday. When asked, the White House claimed it was simply a case of President Trump having some free time on his schedule and deciding to get part of his annual physical out of the way early. However, one reporter for The Hill claimed that he was taken there for “chest discomfort.” But that hasn’t been confirmed by anyone else that we know of. Still, it’s an unusual incident to be sure. (Heavy.com)
A contributor for the Hill who writes on veterans issues is claiming that President Donald Trump visited the hospital due to chest discomfort. That’s a different story from the White House statement on Trump’s November 16, 2019 visit to Walter Reed, which painted it as part of a routine annual exam.
“#BreakingNews Sources tell me from Walter Reed the President was being checked out for chest discomfort. No other information is available at this time,” Andrew Vernon wrote on Twitter on the evening of November 16, 2019…
Vernon’s tweet sparked a flurry of attention on social media. However, the chest pain report has not been confirmed by other sources, although others have written that it’s unusual how the president’s Walter Reed visit unfolded.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told Fox News that any rumors of the President having health issues are incorrect. “He’s healthy as can be,” she said. “He has more energy than anybody in the White House. That man works from 6 a.m. until very, very late at night. Anticipating a very busy 2020, the President is taking advantage of a free weekend here in Washington, D.C., to begin portions of his routine annual physical exam at Walter Reed.”
I’ll admit that this explanation is entirely plausible, albeit a bit on the unusual side. Trump will have a very busy schedule after the holidays, very likely living on the campaign trail when not seeing to official business in Washington. If he wanted to get this chore out of the way early, I suppose it wouldn’t really be all that odd.
But certain details still make this appear strange. For one thing, as Jonathan Wackrow (a former Secret Service agent who worked on presidential details) said, the medical facilities at the White House are set up to take care of almost all of a routine physical so there was little need to go to Walter Reed just for that. He went on to note that the President’s annual physical checkup has traditionally been done all in one go, not in stages. Why go have blood work and part of a checkup done, only to have to return and finish it up later?
Also, CNN’s resident medical expert Sanjay Gupta reported last year that Trump has a minor (and very common) form of heart disease that’s generally easily handled with medication and exercise. So if he really was having some “chest discomfort” it might not be all that surprising, but still relatively innocuous.
Would the White House deny possible chest pains if this did actually happen? Let’s just say I wouldn’t be shocked. He’s in his seventies, but he prides himself on going full speed ahead every day. We all saw the reactions from the press and the public when Bernie Sanders had to be rushed to the hospital after suffering a minor heart attack. Trump doesn’t want that sort of news dogging him on the campaign trail.
Unless some sort of medical whistleblower shows up in the coming days, we’ll just have to take the President at his word, I suppose. And he’ll need to remain in good health, what with the impeachment hearings grinding on and a very full schedule of campaign events stretching out across the next year.