An interesting story about President Trump’s health presented itself last weekend. In an unannounced stop, Trump entered Walter Reed Medical Center to begin, it was reported, a part of his yearly medical exam.
At the time, it was noted that Trump’s visit to do some of the medical testing involved in his exam, but not the complete examination, was a bit unusual. It was unusual. The whole visit was unexpected. Normally, when a president – any president – is scheduled to have a yearly medical examination performed, that appointment is mentioned to the press. There is always interest in the president’s health from the general public. Hey, how’s he holding up? It’s a stressful job. As a rule, the president goes in for an annual medical examination and the process takes up most of that day’s schedule. Then it’s over until the next year.
So, when White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham explained that President Trump simply decided to get a jump on the process and knock out some of the testings, along with a quick exam, because his calendar is going to be super busy in the coming months, some eyebrows were raised. Grisham said Trump had some free time on Saturday and decided to take the opportunity to start the process. She brushed aside questions about any health concerns later on Saturday.
“He’s healthy as can be,” she told Pirro. “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,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement earlier Saturday.
Trump tweeted that he began his examination and that he visited with a family at Walter Reed Medical Center.
Visited a great family of a young man under major surgery at the amazing Walter Reed Medical Center. Those are truly some of the best doctors anywhere in the world. Also began phase one of my yearly physical. Everything very good (great!). Will complete next year.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2019
Grisham also reported that Trump made a visit to the family of an injured Special Forces soldier while at the hospital. More importantly, she assured everyone that Trump is “healthy and energetic”.
Grisham said in a statement Saturday that the “President remains healthy and energetic without complaints,” and that he met with the family of a US Special Forces soldier injured in Afghanistan.
“The President also stopped by to say hello to the medical staff of Walter Reed, to share his thanks for all the outstanding care they provide to our Wounded Warriors, and wish them an early happy Thanksgiving,” Grisham added.
The rumors began anyway. There was speculation that President Trump experienced chest pains and was taken to the hospital for tests. And just like that, there was speculation that Trump may resign early due to health problems. So, by Monday evening, a memo was released by Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley, physician to the president. Stephanie Grisham tweeted it out.
Memorandum from the President’s Physician pic.twitter.com/yzkjqCBBHc
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) November 19, 2019
Conley described Trump’s visit on Saturday as “a routine, planned interim checkup,” which looked odd to me, as it wasn’t planned in advance, at least not on Trump’s official calendar, but then he explained that there were “scheduling uncertainties”. The doctor was probably just trying to express that it was a normal, annual event. Whatever. The real purpose of the memo was to reassure that Trump’s fine and not hampered by heart problems. There was no special attention paid to his heart – he didn’t even receive any such evaluation.
The White House on Monday released a note from President Trump’s physician seeking to dispel speculation about his physical state after he made an unannounced trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for exams over the weekend.
“Despite some of the speculation, the President has not had any chest pain, nor was he evaluated or treated for any urgent or acute issues,” Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley, physician to the president, said in a letter released by the White House.
The visit was part of “a routine, planned interim checkup,” Conley said. Trump did not undergo any specialized heart or neurological evaluations during his roughly three hour stop at the medical center.
Conley did not disclose many specifics about Trump’s evaluations, instead describing the visit broadly as part of preventative care. He wrote that the trip remained off the record due to “scheduling uncertainties.”
The memo, assuring that Trump wasn’t having chest pains, brought back kerfuffles created in the past. Trump’s personal physician came under fire for a 2015 letter he wrote on Trump’s general health. Also, when Trump’s mental health was the topic of opposition stories, the White House physician released a report on how well Trump did on cognitive tests, not normally a part of yearly medical exams for presidents. The anti-Trump voices cast doubt on this current assessment of Trump’s health, too. Trump’s a liar, therefore we cannot believe any of these reassurances, or something.
Conley’s memo mentions some good news, other than no cardiac episodes. Trump’s cholesterol level is down. Medication has lowered it from his previous exam.
The doctor did note that the president’s cholesterol was 165 mg/dL, down from 196 during his most recent physical exam in February. The decrease came after Trump’s daily dosage of the drug rosuvastatin, which is used to treat high cholesterol, was increased to 40 milligrams daily in February.
Trump prides himself on his stamina. His schedule is far more hectic than other candidates, especially since Bernie Sanders has had to slow down after his recent heart attack. These kind of stories will prevail as we move forward in the 2020 cycle, as we have many candidates in their 70s running for president. It’s unusual – just like the rest of 2019 has been.