Politics: Trump’s weekend hospital visit draws a skeptical reaction - - PressFrom - US
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Politics Trump’s weekend hospital visit draws a skeptical reaction

04:00  19 november  2019
04:00  19 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A lack of notice. Past failures to level with the American people. A tough week for the White House as public impeachment hearings got under way.

Add it all up, and President Donald Trump’s unscheduled weekend visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center raised suspicions about his health, despite White House officials’ insistence that the president was merely getting a head start on his annual physical.

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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images. Since entering politics, the president hasn’t been all that transparent about his physical health. In 2015, Trump released a letter from his physician claiming that his blood pressure was “astonishingly excellent” and that he would “unequivocally” be the healthiest

Trump also spent time at the hospital meeting with the family of a special forces soldier injured in Afghanistan. And he visited with medical staff "to share his thanks for all the outstanding care they provide to our Wounded Warriors, and wish them an early happy Thanksgiving," Grisham said.

For any president, a sudden trip to the hospital would raise questions. But such scrutiny was magnified with a president who has a history of exaggeration and playing loose with the facts, giving skeptics room to run with their own theories.

“The one thing you can be absolutely sure of is this was not routine and he didn't go up there for half his physical,” tweeted Joe Lockhart, a press secretary under President Bill Clinton, who was himself impeached for perjury and obstruction. “What does it mean? It means that we just won't know what the medical issue was.”

The president’s medical appointment wasn’t listed on his Saturday public schedule, and his last physical was just nine months ago. Press secretary Stephanie Grisham said the 73-year-old president was “anticipating a very busy 2020” and wanted to take advantage of “a free weekend” in Washington to begin portions of his routine checkup.

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Trump , the first sitting U. S . president to attend New York’ s parade, offered a tribute to veterans ahead of the “Anticipating a very busy 2020, the President is taking advantage of a free weekend here in President Trump had chest pain, prompting his visit to Walter Reed hospital , a report claims.

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She did not specify which tests he’d received or explain why the visit had not been disclosed in advance. Trump’s 2018 and 2019 physicals were both announced ahead of time. Grisham said after the visit that the president had gotten “a quick exam and labs.”

“The President remains healthy and energetic without complaints, as demonstrated by his repeated vigorous rally performances in front of thousands of Americans several times a week,” she said.

The motorcade of President Donald Trump waits at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)© Provided by The Associated Press The motorcade of President Donald Trump waits at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) But some weren’t buying Grisham’s explanation.

“The real Donald Trump is getting exposed for what he's done, and that's what's driving him to the doctor,” Rahm Emanuel, a former Clinton aide and Chicago mayor, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

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Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, said it’s reasonable for the press to be asking questions about the president’s health. She said the country has a long history of presidents hiding physical ailments from the public.

Woodrow Wilson suffered a paralytic stroke in 1919 and the full details of his disability were kept from the public. Franklin D. Roosevelt won a fourth term despite severe hypertension that would contribute to his death 11 weeks into his term. Dwight D. Eisenhower suffered a heart attack in his first term, in 1955, and a reassessment of his medical records and public information four decades later found that the information released to the public was recast to serve the president’s political interests ahead of his 1956 reelection campaign.

Jamieson noted that Trump was criticized for releasing only cursory details on his health prior to the election. The president’s doctor, Harold N. Bornstein, wrote in December 2015 that Trump would "unequivocally" be the healthiest president in history and deemed the celebrity businessman's condition "astonishingly excellent." Bornstein later said he wrote the note in five minutes while a limo sent by the candidate waited outside his office.

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Members of the U.S. Secret Service' Hazardous Agent Mitigation and Medical Emergency Response (HAMMER) Team, move from their vehicle as President Donald Trump is visiting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)© Provided by The Associated Press Members of the U.S. Secret Service' Hazardous Agent Mitigation and Medical Emergency Response (HAMMER) Team, move from their vehicle as President Donald Trump is visiting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Jamieson said there is a set of expectations about how a president’s annual exam is handled, which includes the advance public notice that the Trump White House provided for his first two exams. She said the reasonable question is: “If this is routine, why was it not handled in a routine manner?”

Grisham said everything the White House has said about the Walter Reed visit is “true and accurate.”

“Just because it was done a little differently doesn’t mean anything is wrong,” she said.

Trump and the White House have characterized the visit as “phase 1” of his annual physical. But the explanation raised questions simply because its handling was unusual.

First, annual physicals typically aren’t performed in installments unless someone needs a special test not available at their doctor’s office — something that shouldn’t be an issue at a military hospital. Nor are they usually performed three months early; Trump’s last physical was last February.

Some lab tests might be performed every few months if a doctor suspects a problem, but otherwise blood tests such as a check of whether Trump’s medication is keeping his high cholesterol in check normally would be performed at the one-year mark.

His prior physicals were scheduled in advance not only because that’s how doctors schedule everyone’s “wellness” check-ups — even VIPs — but because a presidential visit to a hospital prompts extra security concerns.

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AP Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard contributed to this report.

First Lady Melania Trump was completely caught off-guard by Trump's surprise Saturday visit to Walter Reed Medical Center, Trump claimed .
In his Tuesday remarks, Trump blasted the media as "dangerous" and "corrupt" for raising questions about the unscheduled Walter Reed visit."I went for a physical, and I came back. My wife said, 'Darling are you okay? What's wrong? Oh, they're reporting you may have had a heart attack.' I said, 'Why did I have a heart attack?' 'Because you went to Walter Reed Medical Center,' that's where we go when we get the physicals," Trump said at the cabinet meeting.

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