Why did Donald Trump make highly unusual visit to Walter Reed medical center and why didn't he follow protocol?
US President Donald Trump underwent a physical examination at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on Saturday, November 16, afternoon. According to the White House, the 73-year-old president underwent “quick exam and labs” anticipating a “very busy 2020”.
As per the CNN that cited a source, Trump’s visit to Walter Reed was not scheduled till Friday, November 15, and White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham told Fox News that Trump decided to go for the medical tests on Saturday itself as there was some free time. Grisham denied that the president had any health issues.
However, a source also said that Trump’s visit to Walter Reed did not follow the protocol of a routine presidential medical test, CNN reported. It said that the medical workers at the center did not get notification about a presidential visit ahead of Trump’s visit. They generally get a general notice of a “VIP” visiting the facility ahead of a presidential arrival. It leads to certain closures that did not happen when Trump reached there, suggesting that it was all arranged at the last moment.
The source also added that it was possible that some doctors involved in the tests were notified before Trump’s arrival.
Trump’s previous two physical examinations were priorly announced by the White House and revealed as part of his daily public schedule. But on Saturday, the presidential convoy headed for the facility unannounced and even reporters were asked not to report his movement till he reached Walter Reed, CNN added. The president generally takes the air route to reach Walter Reed but on Saturday, he went for a car ride.
While another source said that Trump’s visit was “abnormal” though the White House said the president is in good health and it was a routine checkup that he went for.
Trump tweeted about his visit to the facility early on Sunday morning where he praised the facility and its doctors.
Did Trump have a chest discomfort?
However, the assurance still did not convince many. Andrew Vernon, a former army man and a contributor for the Hill, said in a tweet that Trump had gone to Walter Reed after feeling chest discomfort. Vernon, whose Twitter account identified him as ‘President and CEO. Opinion Contributor ‘the hill’, posted on Saturday night: “#BreakingNews Sources tell me from Walter Reed the President was being checked out for chest discomfort. No other information is available at this time”.
As found in his 2018 tests, Trump has high cholesterol and a common form of heart disease. His weight is also more than it should be but the president has reportedly made little change to his lifestyle despite being asked by the doctor.
Other social media users hinted at a conspiracy theory that the president could suddenly fall ill if he had to surrender his tax returns to the Congress. An appellate court ruled this week that the president had to give up his eight years of return to the Congressional lawmakers looking into his businesses. The president’s attorneys, in turn, have asked the Supreme Court to block the release, accusing the Congress of overstepping its probing authority.