President Donald Trump brought up his recent hospital visit on Tuesday while meeting with his Cabinet.
Trump said his wife, first lady Melania Trump, was caught off guard by his surprise Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and was concerned whether he was OK.
“I went for a physical, and I came back. My wife said, ‘Darling, are you OK? What’s wrong? Oh, they’re reporting you may have had a heart attack’. I said, ‘Why did I have a heart attack?’ ‘Because you went to Walter Reed Medical Center.’ That’s where we go when we get the physicals,'” the president said.
In his remarks, Trump blasted reporters for fuelling speculations regarding his health over the unscheduled hospital visit, branding them as “dangerous” and “corrupt.”
“I get greeted with the news that ‘we understand you had a heart attack.’ I was called by our people in public relations: ‘Sir, are you OK?’ I said, ‘OK from what?’ ‘The word is you had a heart attack. CNN said you may have had a heart attack,’” he said.
“These people are sick. They’re sick. And the press really, in this country, is dangerous. We don’t have freedom of the press in this country — we have the opposite. We have a very corrupt media, and I hope they can get their act straight.”
Netizens responded to the news on social media, with some agreeing the visit seemed somewhat suspicious.
Donald Trump made an unplanned trip to the military hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, on 16 November.
The president had tweeted:
“Visited a great family of a young man under major surgery at the amazing Walter Reed Medical Center,” the president tweeted early Sunday. “Those are truly some of the best doctors anywhere in the world. Also began phase one of my yearly physical. Everything very good (great!). Will complete next year.”
After media speculations began swirling over the mysterious visit, the White House released a statement late Monday from the president’s personal physician, US Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley.
He said Saturday’s visit was a “routine, planned interim checkup.”
He added that due to scheduling uncertainties, the trip was “kept off the record.”
“Despite some of the speculation, the president has not had any chest pain, nor was he evaluated or treated for any urgent or acute issues,” Conley wrote.
He said a more thorough exam will be conducted next year and a full summary of the president’s physical on Saturday will be incorporated into next year’s report.
White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, told Fox News on Saturday that Trump had “a really busy year ahead” so “decided to go to Walter Reed and kind of get a head start with some routine checkups as part of his annual exam.”
Nonetheless, Grisham’s statement raised questions as the White House has medical staff in place to deal with any health issues that might arise, and the weekend hospital visit didn’t follow typical protocols, including advance public notice.