Pray For The U. S. President

Trump’s health under scrutiny again after unplanned visit to Walter Reed

President Trump’s impromptu weekend visit to a doctor brought fresh questions about the status of his health after the White House released a memo late Monday denying “speculation” that he had been treated for a medical emergency.

Trump, 73, made an unscheduled trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on Saturday, a visit that remained shrouded in secrecy for two days as Trump stayed away from the public eye and the White House dodged questions about his health.

In a memo released by the White House late Monday, Trump’s doctor, Sean Conley, wrote that Trump’s “interim checkup” over the weekend had been “routine,” and was only kept secret because of “scheduling uncertainties.”

“Despite some speculation, the President has not had any chest pain, nor was he evaluated or treated for any urgent or acute issues,” Conley wrote in the memo. “Specifically, he did not undergo any specialized cardiac or neurologic evaluations.”

While Trump claimed that he had begun “phase one” of his annual physical, Conley said Trump would have a “more comprehensive examination” next year. Trump described his condition on Twitter as “very good (great!)”; Conley’s memo did not characterize the president’s overall health. It did include cholesterol figures that had dropped since Trump’s last physical exam in February.

It is unusual for a president to undergo a physical exam in multiple stages months apart, and the circumstances surrounding Trump’s visit renewed questions about the White House’s handling of his medical information, according to several experts.

In a statement Saturday, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said that Trump had undergone a “quick exam and labs” and that he “remains healthy and energetic without complaints.” Grisham also said Trump had taken advantage of a “free weekend” in Washington to “begin portions of his routine annual physical exam.”

Trump with then-White House physician Ronny Jackson in August 2017. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Two people who interacted with Trump late last week said that he seemed to be hoarse and have signs of a cold but that nothing serious seemed amiss.

Trump’s voice was occasionally subdued and raspy during a news conference Wednesday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But Trump also spoke for more than an hour Thursday at a political rally, the latest in a string of campaign events that the White House has pointed to as signs of his energy and vigor.

On Monday, he remained out of public view, holding his meetings behind closed doors. He met with Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell inside the White House residence rather than the Oval Office, according to a White House official familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.

...There are other reasons Trump’s visit to Walter Reed was out of the ordinary.

During Trump’s previous medical examinations, the White House has announced the visit in advance, and the president has taken the presidential helicopter, Marine One. On Saturday, Trump’s visit was not announced beforehand, and the president used a motorcade, which is equipped with an ambulance.

“That’s one of the unusual things about the whole situation,” Peña said. “Not just the mode of transportation but also, traditionally, the physicals are announced and put on their public schedule. That’s why it doesn’t quite fit the profile.”

While there are other plausible explanations for the decision to forgo Marine One, the White House has not adequately communicated the circumstances around Trump’s visit, said Jonathan Wackrow, a former Secret Service agent. “The way that this was messaged from the White House just was poor,” he said Monday on CNN.

It's hard to pray with understanding because Trump and his cabinet lies so much. I don't agree with his politics, but pray for him, just the same. CM



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