By Brett Samuels, THE HILL, 09/01/20
President Trump on Tuesday denied that he made an emergency visit to the hospital last year after suffering “a series of mini-strokes” after a new book claimed that Vice President Pence was on standby in the event Trump was incapacitated.
The president’s denial raised eyebrows, as the book from New York Times correspondent Michael Schmidt did not specifically state that Trump had suffered from a series of small strokes.
“It never ends! Now they are trying to say that your favorite President, me, went to Walter Reed Medical Center, having suffered a series of mini-strokes. Never happened to THIS candidate — FAKE NEWS,” Trump tweeted, before insinuating that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden may have dealt with health issues.
Schmidt reported in his new book that Pence was told to be on standby to assume presidential powers last November in the event the president had to be anesthetized during a previously unscheduled visit to Walter Reed Medical Center.
The White House said at the time that Trump had undergone portions of his annual physical exam in November when he had free time, but offered few other details. A White House doctor later issued a letter seeking to dispel speculation that Trump may have had a medical episode.
The physician to the White House later on Tuesday issued a statement addressing the issue. The physician, Sean Conley, said Trump had asked that he do so.
“President Donald J Trump has asked that I, Dr. Sean Conley, Physician to the President, address the recent public comments regarding his health. I can 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.
“The President remains healthy and I have no concerns about his ability to maintain the rigorous schedule ahead of him. As stated in my last report, I expect him to remain fit to execute the duties of the Presidency.”
Trump’s health as been a sensitive subject for the president. He has repeatedly cast doubt on Biden’s mental fitness and raised questions about whether he has the vigor and energy to be president.
But he has aggressively pushed back whenever his own health is called into question.
The president lashed out at the media over the speculation brought on by the Walter Reed visit last November, calling the reporting “dangerous.”
The president has also spent an extended period of time defending an incident at West Point where he appeared to struggle to raise a glass of water to his mouth and later haltingly walked down a ramp. At a campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla., the president sipped from a water glass using one hand, prompting raucous applause from the crowd.