Amid the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump, the oldest president to be sworn in for their first term, has yet to complete his annual physical that began six months ago at Walter Reed hospital, NBC News reported. According to the publication, the White House declined to provide an explanation for why the examination has yet to conclude.
Trump underwent his 2018 exam in January, and his 2019 exam was conducted in February. Although Trump began portions of his most recent examination in November 2019, NBC News reports that the visit was “unannounced and remained shrouded in secrecy” for the duration of the two-day stay. In early March of this year, Trump told reporters he would likely complete his physical over the next 90 days and claimed he was too busy at the time to do so.
According to Trump’s doctor, Sean Conley, Trump underwent a routine “interim checkup” in 2019 that would be followed by a “more comprehensive” examination sometime this year. The pending report on Trump’s health will allegedly contain the president’s labs and exam results.
Trump's @PressSec has released a letter from the president's doctor.
In it, Sean Conley says Trump's weekend hospital visit was a "routine, planned interim checkup" that included no "specialized cardiac or neurologic evaluations" despite "some of the speculation." pic.twitter.com/Pj2W5o55Vy
— Josh Wingrove (@josh_wingrove) November 19, 2019
According to two sources with direct knowledge who spoke to NBC News, Conley was handpicked by Trump’s previous doctor, Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson. The sources allegedly claimed that many White House Medical Unit staffers view Conley as someone who was unfairly promoted to his position. However, White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere pushed back on this characterization and called Conley a “qualified talented physician” with a “wealth of experience” that makes him suited for the job of treating the president.
Presidential historian Michael Beschloss claimed that Trump has an obligation to show the American people the state of his health, given his power over the country.
“From the time in the 1950s when Dwight Eisenhower released unprecedented information about the heart attack, ileitis and stroke he suffered in office, most presidents have fulfilled that demand, including releasing the results of regular physicals,” Beschloss said.
“Too often in history have presidents concealed secret illnesses and medicine routines that had the potential to undermine their leadership, and the wellbeing of all of us.”
As noted by NBC News, the delayed physical comes amid the recent revelation that Trump is taking hydroxychloroquine, a potentially dangerous medication that has not been proven to treat or prevent coronavirus effectively. On Friday, The Lancet published a study that found hydroxychloroquine was connected to heart arrhythmias and increased mortality rates among the coronavirus patients examined in the observational study.
Trump is allegedly taking hydroxychloroquine along with zinc and the antibiotic azithromycin.