Summary List Placement
President Donald Trump’s unique version of message discipline has brought his mysterious visit to Walter Reed Medical Hospital back into the news, with the president randomly denying an otherwise fringe theory that he had a series of mini strokes last year.
“It never ends! Now they are trying to say that your favourite President, me, went to Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre, having suffered a series of mini-strokes,” Trump tweeted. “Never happened to THIS candidate.”
The White House physician also released a statement denying the notion, even though no credible news outlets had reported anything on the subject.
Trump was apparently responding to a tweet from Joe Lockhart, a press secretary under President Bill Clinton, speculating the president had had a stroke.
@RonnyJackson4TX if you read the tweet you’ll see I asked a question based on an unannounced trip to the hospital and the VP bring out on notice. No reporting just a question. Your reaction suggests a lot of defensiveness on your part
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) September 1, 2020
With the randomness of Trump’s denial and the murky circumstances surrounding the Walter Reed visit, here’s what we actually know about his trip to the hospital.
- Just before Thanksgiving last year, Trump made an unscheduled visit to Walter Reed, which the White House later billed as the president simply beginning part of his annual physical early. The results of the physical were not released until months later.
- With few details emerging from the White House surrounding the visit, a new book from New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt revealed “word went out in the West Wing for the vice president to be on standby to take over the powers of the presidency temporarily if Trump had to undergo a procedure that would have required him to be anesthetized.”
- Vice President Mike Pence then said Tuesday “I don’t recall being told to be on standby. I was informed that the president had a doctor’s appointment.”
- The White House physician released a statement on Tuesday saying he could “confirm that President Trump has not experienced nor been evaluated for a cerebrovascular accident (stroke), transient ischemic attack (mini stroke), or any acute cardiovascular emergencies, as have been incorrectly reported in the media.”
- No credible outlets have run any stories on Trump having mini strokes.
- Most of the speculation comes from various personalities on Twitter who are not reporters or medical experts and appear to stem from Trump’s struggle with descending a ramp at West Point and other viral clips, like when he appeared to have difficulties handling a glass of water with one hand.
- Once released in the early summer, the actual results of Trump’s physical were vague, only saying his weight was up one pound to 244 – making him clinically obese for the second year in a row – and that his cholesterol ticked down. Other than that, not much more was included aside from his height and an EKG summary of his hydroxychloroquine use.