Famed neurosurgeon and CNN correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta turned a skeptical eye to President Donald Trump’s recent unannounced trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in an op-ed Sunday that questioned just how “routine” his visit really was.
The nationally acclaimed doctor broke down lingering questions he has about the Nov. 16 visit after speaking with White House officials as well as former White House doctors.
“We know that Trump is 73 years old, has heart disease and is clinically obese. For any man of that age and medical history, an unexpected visit to the hospital is concerning,” Gupta stated.
Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said in a memo released last week that the visit was a “routine, planned interim checkup as part of the regular, primary preventative care he receives throughout the year.” Conley added that it was kept off Trump’s public schedule due to uncertainties.
Gupta questioned why Trump traveled to the Bethesda, Maryland, hospital when a routine physical could have been done at the White House instead.
He also raised questions about the timing, since annual exams typically aren’t done less than a year apart “unless there is a concern about something.” Trump’s last physical was in February of this year. The reason for the 12-month wait is to “better assess the impact of medication and lifestyle changes over a consistent interval of time.”
If Trump’s physical required blood work, he would have had to fast beforehand, which would have been difficult given that the president’s visit wasn’t until the afternoon, Gupta said.
Trump’s physician also rode with him in the presidential motorcade, something that a White House doctor told Gupta “never happened during their time there.”
President Barack Obama’s former physician, David Scheiner, also dismissed the suggestion that the visit was routine, calling that idea “obviously ridiculous.”
“It’s something that needed to be tended to quickly, but not quite an emergency,” he told Inside Edition.
Gupta concluded by expressing concern about the care being given to Trump but surmised that if there were any actual concerns behind his hospital visit, they “were unlikely severe” due to the short length of the visit and Trump’s public appearances since.