Fri, 13 Dec 2019

Trump Physician Calls Hospital Visit 'Planned Interim Checkup'

Voice of America
19 Nov 2019, 22:05 GMT+10

The White House offered additional assurances late Monday about what it said was the routine nature of an unexpected visit President Donald Trump made Saturday to a military hospital that sparked some suspicions about his health.

Trump's official physician, U.S. Navy Commander Sean Conley, issued a memo saying the president underwent "a little more than an hour of examination, labs and discussions," but no "specialized cardiac or neurologic evaluations."

Conley characterized the visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as a "planned interim checkup as part of the regular, primary preventative care" Trump receives during the year. He said the president would have a "more comprehensive examination after the New Year."

The visit did not appear on Trump's daily schedule of activities released by the White House, unlike when he went for his annual physical exam in February. Conley wrote that was because of "scheduling uncertainties."

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham released an earlier statement saying Trump had begun "portions of his annual physical exam" Saturday because he had a free weekend and was anticipating "a very busy 2020."

In a separate statement to VOA Sunday she said "We're not going to get into security and movement protocols when it comes to the President, but as my statements said he's in good health and it was a routine checkup as part of his annual physical. I've given plenty of on the record statements that were truthful and accurate - the press who are actively trying to find and report conspiracy theories really need to stop."

In a midnight (early Sunday morning) tweet, Trump said he had begun "phase one of my yearly physical. Everything very good (great). Will complete next year."

The president, who has a taste for red meat and fast food, does not drink alcohol or smoke. He is not known to have had any significant medical issues since becoming president in January 2017 but has a history of elevated cholesterol and had been taking a low daily dose of aspirin for cardiac health.

On February 8, Trump underwent four hours of routine tests at Walter Reed with Conley supervising a panel of 11 different board-certified specialists.

Following the annual examination, Conley, in a memo to the White House, said the president was "in very good health and I anticipate he will remain so for the duration of his presidency and beyond."

That was the second such physical exam of his presidency. Questions were raised about the true health of the president after the first one in 2018.

The White House doctor at the time, Navy Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, declared Trump in "excellent health," attributing it to "incredibly good genes."

The physician also declared that he had told the president he "might live to be 200 years old" if Trump would just eat healthier foods.

After the 2018 physical, Jackson told reporters the president weighed 108 kilograms (239 pounds) and could reasonably lose approximately 4 to 7 kilograms (10 to 15 pounds).

Jackson said Trump would undergo a colonoscopy in 2019. The procedure apparently was not performed in February of this year.

Jackson also said president got a perfect score on a screening for cognitive impairment and was "mentally very sharp."

Jackson later was nominated by Trump to run the Department of Veteran Affairs, but the admiral withdrew his name after allegations of misconduct surfaced, including accusations he improperly dispensed medication.

The admiral denied the allegations, which Trump called "lies."

The president subsequently recommended Jackson for a second star (higher military rank) and promoted him to White House chief medical adviser.

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