Trump slams speculation over his health after unannounced hospital visit

Published: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 @ 12:51 PM
Updated: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 @ 12:51 PM

Trump visits hospital for annual physical

President Donald Trump checked into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Saturday for medical tests as part of his annual physical, White House officials said.

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The trip, which was not on the president's public schedule, sparked speculation about the 73-year-old's health. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Trump is "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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Here are the latest updates:

Update 12:45 p.m. EST Nov. 19: At a Cabinet Meeting on Tuesday, President Donald Trump complained about speculation that he might have suffered a heart attack over the weekend.

Speculation swirled after Trump visited Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for two hours Saturday. The trip had not been on Trump's public schedule, though White House officials said the visit was routine.

"I went and did a very routine -- just a piece of it, the rest takes place in January -- very routine physical," he said, according to CNN. When he returned to the White House, he said, "I get greeted with the news, 'We understand you had a heart attack.'"

"These people are sick and the press really in this country is dangerous," Trump said. "We don't have freedom of the press in this country. We have the opposite. We have a very corrupt media."

Update 11:33 p.m. EST Nov. 18: In a memorandum, President Donald Trump's physician said Monday the president's visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Saturday was merely part of a "routine, planned interim checkup, several media outlets reported.

"This past Saturday afternoon the President traveled up to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for a routine, planned interim checkup as part of the regular, primary preventative care he receives throughout the year," Sean P. Conley wrote in the memo, CBS News reported. "Due to scheduling uncertainties, the trip was kept off the record.

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

Update 2:05 p.m. EST Nov. 18: White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham deflected rumors about President Donald Trump's health, saying it is “absolutely not” true that the president's visit to a doctor Saturday was anything other than a routine procedure, The Washington Post reported. Grisham also said the President is “healthy as can be," the newspaper reported.

In a statement Saturday, Grisham said Trump, 73, had “a quick exam and labs” and “remains healthy and energetic without complaints, as demonstrated by his repeated vigorous rally performances in front of thousands of Americans several times a week,” the Post reported.

Grisham said rumors about the president "are always flying."

"He is healthy as can be," Grisham told Fox News Channel host Jeanine Pirro on Saturday. "I put a statement out about that. He’s got more energy than anybody in the White House. That man works from 6 a.m. until, you know, very, very late at night. He’s doing just fine.”

Update 12:56 a.m. EST Nov. 17: Trump took to Twitter early Sunday, just hours after his visit to Walter Reed Medical Center.

"Visited a great family of a young man under major surgery at the amazing Walter Reed Medical Center," he tweeted shortly after midnight. "Those are truly some of the best doctors anywhere in the world. Also began phase one of my yearly physical. Everything very good (great!). Will complete next year."


 

According to The Associated Press, the two-hour appointment did not appear on the president's public schedule like his previous annual physicals. 

Original story: "Anticipating a very busy 2020, the President is taking advantage of a free weekend here in Washington, D.C., to begin portions of his routine annual physical exam at Walter Reed," Stephanie Grisham, White House press secretary, said in a statement, CNN reported.

Trump’s last physical was in February at Walter Reed. He weighed 243 pounds with a body mass index of 29.9, and 30 is considered obese, USA Today reported. He also had increased his use of a statin that helps control his cholesterol.

"I am happy to announce the president of the United States is in very good health and I anticipate he will remain so for the duration of his presidency, and beyond," Dr. Sean Conley, the president’s physician, wrote at the time. 

The visit Saturday is different than the president’s previous physicals.

The last two physicals were announced beforehand and noted on the president’s calendar. Trump usually takes the Marine One helicopter to Walter Reed, but this time, a motorcade dropped him off unannounced, CNN reported