US 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.
Doesn’t sound like a planned physical.— Linda Clarke 🍑 (@LindaMLC) November 19, 2019
Others were quick to agree with the president and deplored the fact that the media is “corrupt.”
Very sad President Trump's family, and the American people have to hear directly from the President regarding his health, in order to learn truth, as the media are so corrupt they prefer to speculate rather than doing research and reporting accurately.— Rhonda Kazmierski (@KazmierskiR) November 19, 2019
Extremely corrupt media. Sadly we never know what to believe as a result of the constant false narratives they spew out of their mouths on a daily basis.— Justin (@Dreg1993) November 19, 2019
Many Twitter users swooped in on Trump’s reference to his wife calling him by the endearment “darling”…
" darling"? I don't think so...— VK (@hkaustinlondon) November 19, 2019
We know that was a lie! She was not concerned😂😂😂— Stephanie A (@stjohnson1999) November 20, 2019
Other people on the social media platform pointed out that, indeed, Donald Trump is bound to have “medical issues.”
No one who is considered borderline obese is considered in perfect health. He was told to exercise and watch his diet on his last physical.— Avis Miller (@AvisMil50067799) November 20, 2019
So you did not tell your wife you were making an unscheduled doctor visit? Great communication between you too? I think you made up her responses to you about what 'they' were saying. Sad.— Geri Thomas (@GeriTho57417794) November 19, 2019
Guy who tucks his neck fat into his shirt is NOT healthy.— The Realest Strobe (@strobemusic) November 18, 2019
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."
Visited a great family of a young man under major surgery at the amazing Walter Reed Medical Center. 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.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2019
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.