Dr. Jonathan Reiner, who is still former Vice President Dick Cheney’s cardiologist, said that he spoke with someone assigned to talk about the president’s health in the White House and still has questions about President Donald Trump’s trip to Walter Reed over the weekend.
“This had been something they had been thinking about for a while, the president had some downtime, so he went over to Walter Reed to get some of this done,” said Dr. Reiner, citing the White House source. “There was no sophisticated testing done. It’s a little bit unusual. Almost everything that is usually done in a presidential physical like this, can be done in the White House at the White House medical unit. So, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense why the president would travel to Walter Reed on a Saturday afternoon for this kind of testing.”
The same question was raised by CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta over the weekend.
“I’ve been involved in planning a lot of these for the former vice president, and these kinds of days are planned out over weeks,” Dr. Reiner continued. “And often multiple consultants are brought in, the day is highly choreographed and planned down to the minute. So, a spontaneous medical exam is uncommon, raising the question of whether there was something specifically at issue that required an evaluation on Saturday.”
The White House, however, says there was not.
Historically speaking, the reason for not following protocol would be an emergency. Outside of an emergency, Dr. Reiner said he has no idea why the protocol wasn’t followed if there was no emergency here. Trump is generally not one to follow the rules, so it is entirely possible that he simply refused to do so here as well.
“It doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Dr. Reiner said. He also explained that the White House medical unit has an extensive capability to handle anything the president may need for medical care. It was a sentiment that Dr. Gupta also noted, saying that all of the things necessary for a physical exam and bloodwork would be conducted at the White House.
“You go to a hospital, like Walter Reed, for testing that is not available in the White House,” he said. “That would include things like CAT scans, a test like a stress test. Those things are detailed procedures that would need to be done in a place like Walter Reed. and a routine exam for us, just sort of check the president’s height and weight can be done on the ground floor of the White House.”
The president is known to have a common form of heart disease and he takes a cholesterol drug. A “stress test” would be a normal test done for someone with his conditions. A cardiac stress test would require the president to hook up a heart monitor to his chest and gather information from an electrocardiogram while he exercises on a treadmill or on a stationary bicycle.
“The source at the White House told me they had drawn quite a bit of blood,” said Dr. Reiner. “Last year when the president had his physical exam in February, the president’s cholesterol was significantly high, and the president’s physicians appropriately increased his statin medication. And the lipid panel shows there’s a significant improvement in the numbers. They also expressed to me that the president was vitamin D deficient and they’re planning on starting him on vitamin D therapy.”
The president is known for eating a lot of fast food because he believes it is safer than going to a restaurant where someone can poison him. Though he was previously known to eat at the restaurant in his Washington, D.C. hotel almost weekly.
Dr. Reiner also said that he was “skeptical” that there was nothing going on that warranted a public cause for concern.
“Think about this, the president of the United States has access to multiple physicians on-site, on Saturday afternoon goes unannounced to a medical center. It’s worrisome. It’s worrisome.”
He also noted that it isn’t merely about understanding the health of a president, but it is about understanding the health of a presidential candidate. While the president brags about being the most transparent president in history, the White House is remaining silent about what actually happened Saturday at Walter Reed.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump had a doctor falsify a medical report about all details involving his health. He then spent much of the campaign claiming that former Sec. Hillary Clinton was on her death bed and not healthy enough to make it through a campaign, much less a presidency.
Watch the full interview below: