Last month President Donald Trump made a surprise trip from the White House to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. On Saturday, a former press secretary in the administration of President Bill Clinton took to his Twitter account to raise questions about why the full details of Trump's hospital visit have not been made public.
"Americans have a right to know about the Presidents health and the [White House] explanations doesn't pass the smell test," wrote Joe Lockhart, a longtime Democratic communications specialist who served as Clinton's press spokesperson for about two years between 1998 and 2000.
The Saturday afternoon visit reportedly came as a surprise even to the medical staff at Walter Reed, indicating that Trump's hospital trip was not "routine." But Trump's press secretary Stephanie Grisham shrugged off complaints about the apparent secrecy around the visit, saying that Trump simply made a spur-of-the-moment decision to get "portions" of his annual physical exam completed — three months ahead of schedule.
Trump has never made his full health records public. After his January 2018 physical exam, Trump's then-doctor, Navy Rear Admiral Ronny L. Jackson, proclaimed Trump's health "excellent," and even enthused that "he might live to be 200 years old," according to a Washington Post report.In fact, Jackson said, the only thing standing between Trump and his chance to break the verified world record for longevity by an incredible 84 years is the fact that his diet over the previous two decades had not been as healthy as Jackson would have liked.
Following his 2019 physical exam in February, Trump was found to suffer from a common form of heart disease, as well as high cholesterol. His coronary calcium CT scan yielded a score of 133. Any score over 100 indicates the presence of plaque in the arteries that pump blood into the heart, CNN's medical expert Sanjay Gupta noted at the time.
Though Grisham claimed that Trump in his sudden November visit to Walter Reed was merely starting the process of his 2020 physical examination, Lockhart was not buying it.
"I hope there are still enterprising reporters on this," the former Clinton press secretary wrote on Twitter. "Democracy dies in the dark."
According to the news site Raw Story, however, there are indeed investigative reporters continuing their attempts to uncover Trump's full medical records.
"Some of us have been on this since we were told he could live to be 200," White House press corps correspondent Brian Karem said, as quoted by Raw Story. Given that Trump prevents his administration officials from testifying to Congress, Karem said, "imagine what he does to hide his health problems."