Trump’s Unconventional Presidency Extends to Hospital Visits Now
By Jane Cameron
President Trump was reportedly brought to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on November 16th. This visit was not on the President’s Saturday public schedule and left the American people with a plethora of questions.
Trump’s press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, provided the public with the explanation that this trip was the first part of his annual physical, which is scheduled for February. Later that night Trump followed her explanation with a tweet making the same claim that this was merely part one of his yearly physical. Contradicting this statement two days later, the President’s doctor proclaimed that the hospital visit was categorized as an “interim checkup.” The inconsistencies lead one to question what exactly occurred, since these descriptions hold very different meanings.
The irregularities in the hospital visit did not stop with the explanations; the whole trip was disorderly. The physician to the President, Sean Conley, announced, "Due to scheduling uncertainties, the trip was kept off the record." However, President Trump’s past physical exams were always announced beforehand and recorded on his daily public schedule. Adding to the peculiarity of this particular visit, this hospital appointment was not even on the President’s internal schedule as of Saturday morning. The lack of communication pertaining to Trump’s hospital visit extended to the staff at Walter Reed as well. Ordinarily, the hospital’s staff would be informed of a VIP visitor who is planning to arrive at the hospital. Except in this case, staff was not aware of his intended presence at the hospital and was not sent the usual staff-wide notice they had received in prior years.
A Presidential visit to the hospital prompts the security team to place extra measures to ensure the safety of the nation’s leader. But with the delayed announcement of this trip, no arrangements were made, and even the President’s transportation differed from the usual procedure. Past presidents and Trump have taken the Marine One helicopter to Walter Reed. This time, Trump was driven to the hospital in his motorcade and reporters were directed to refrain from reporting on his travel until he arrived at the hospital. There was added risk this transportation change and adds to the cost to have the physical.
The President did not provide a proper explanation of why he needed to leave the White House and why this physical had to occur at this given time. His explanation that, “he had time and wanted to get ahead” does not account for several details. The White House is equipped with state of the art equipment, as well as respected and competent doctors. The physicians at the White House can be accessed by the President at any time and have the ability to carry out the “quick exam and blood work” the President claims to have had. Additionally, an individual who is in “perfect health,” like Trump’s doctor previously claimed, would not need a physical earlier than one year later. The concept of an annual exam spread throughout different times frames is also uncommon in the medical world. The information gathered at this checkup will be outdated by his next checkup and will not be representative of his current state. The abandonment of typical routine is concerning when it comes to a President’s health.
After Trump’s last physical, the public was made aware of certain health concerns. His recorded weight indicated that he is a pound below what is categorized as obese, and his calcium CT scan indicated heart disease. These risk factors and his being the oldest President to ever serve are probable cause to express concern for a hospital visit that was unforeseen. Whether it was planned or not is debatable. But one thing is certain, the American people are not receiving transparency from the Trump administration on subjects as simple as the President’s health.
Jane Cameron is a freshman majoring in journalism and mass communication, from Fairfield County, Connecticut.
Note: The GW College Democrats News & Blog Committee’s mission is to highlight, empower, and facilitate the political expression of its members. As such, the views expressed in this article are based on the opinions of its author, and do not necessarily represent the views of the whole of GW College Democrats, its executive board, or its senior deputy board.