President Donald Trump was examined by doctors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Saturday, in a hospital visit that CNN described as unscheduled and unannounced. In public statements and interviews, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said the president had made an off-the-cuff decision to use his free time on the weekend “to begin portions of his routine annual physical exam,” to get it out of the way as he prepared for “a very busy 2020.”
The president last underwent an annual physical nine months ago, in February. That exam was announced in advance.
After Saturday’s exam, Grisham said that Trump was “healthy and energetic without complaints, as demonstrated by his repeated vigorous rally performances in front of thousands of Americans several times a week.”
Speaking to Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, Grisham affirmed that the president was “healthy as can be.” The press secretary also said, “He’s got more energy than anyone in the White House” and that Trump “works from 6 a.m. until, you know, very, very late at night.”
Leaked White House schedules have depicted the 73-year-old president’s workdays as beginning at 8 a.m. with three hours of unstructured “Executive Time” before the formally scheduled business of the job begins at 11 a.m.
In 2015, as a presidential candidate, Trump released a letter signed by his personal doctor that said he would be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency” and that his “physical strength and stamina are extraordinary.” The doctor later conceded, after previously denying it, that the letter had been dictated by Trump.
Trump spent slightly more than two hours at Walter Reed Saturday, leaving with “shirt open, no tie,” according to the White House pool report. Sunday morning, he tweeted that he had visited a patient at Walter Reed, adding that he “[a]lso” had begun “phase one” of his annual physical. “Everything very good (great!),” Trump wrote. “Will complete next year.”
Slate · by Tom Scocca · November 17, 2019