WASHINGTON – White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said it is “absolutely not” true that President Donald Trump’s visit to a doctor Saturday was anything other than a routine physical exam, maintaining that he is “healthy as can be.”
“Oh, the rumors are always flying,” Grisham said Saturday when asked during an interview with Fox News Channel host Jeanine Pirro whether there was any truth to the speculation that the visit was out of the ordinary. “Absolutely not. He is healthy as can be. I put a statement out about that. He’s got more energy than anybody in the White House. That man works from 6 a.m. until, you know, very, very late at night. He’s doing just fine.”
Trump, 73, made a visit Saturday afternoon to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. The trip came on a day when the president had no public events on his schedule.
Trump had his first annual physical as president in January 2018. His second was in February 2019. Trump’s doctors hailed his health as “excellent” and “very good” after those exams.
Trump mentioned his visit to Walter Reed in a tweet early Sunday.
“Visited a great family of a young man under major surgery at the amazing Walter Reed Medical Center,” he said. “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.”
For a typical annual physical exam, a patient would fast, usually overnight, so accurate blood tests could be performed. The White House said that Trump was getting a jump on a portion of his physical and that lab work was included.
Trump’s 2018 checkup, which included a voluntary cognitive test at a time when critics were questioning his mental fitness, began about 1 p.m. and lasted more than three hours, according to the report given at the time by then-White House physician Ronny Jackson. Twelve other doctors consulted in the tests.
Other than being overweight and having high cholesterol, Trump’s results were normal, Jackson said then, crediting the president’s genes for his overall good health.
At his 2019 exam, Trump had crept over the line into obesity at 243 pounds, joining about 40% of American adults in that category.
According to the White House, his heart rate during the February exam was 70 beats per minute and his blood pressure was 118/80 mmHg, both good. The dosage of his cholesterol-lowering drug had been increased, the White House reported.
A president’s physical exam also might include an electrocardiogram and perhaps a stress test, which involves walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bicycle while physicians monitor blood flow in the heart, blood pressure and breathing. Trump could return to Walter Reed for those.
Undergoing a physical is voluntary, and Trump has the right to decide how much information he wants to release to the public. Jackson said in 2018 that “absolutely nothing” was withheld from the public and that Trump’s release of information then was the broadest in history.
Trump doesn’t drink alcohol or smoke, but he is fond of fast food; his exercise routine consists mainly of golf.
In a statement Saturday, Grisham said Trump “remains healthy and energetic without complaints, as demonstrated by his repeated vigorous rally performances in front of thousands of Americans several times a week.”
Grisham said Trump also “stopped by to say hello to the medical staff of Walter Reed, to share his thanks for all the outstanding care they provide to our Wounded Warriors, and wish them an early happy Thanksgiving.”
During the visit, Trump met with the family of a Special Forces soldier who had been injured in Afghanistan, she added.
Later, in her appearance on Fox News Channel, Grisham said Trump has “a really busy year ahead,” so he “decided to go to Walter Reed and kind of get a head start with some routine checkups as part of his annual exam.”
“That’s all it was. It was very routine. We had a down day today. And so, he made the decision to head there,” she said.
As she wrapped up the interview, Pirro described Trump as “almost superhuman,” adding, “I don’t know how anyone can deal with what he’s dealing with” in Washington.
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The Washington Post’s Toluse Olorunnipa contributed to this report.