This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, September 2, 2020:
Paul DeBlanc, a reporter for CNN, breathlessly announced on Monday that “Vice President Mike Pence was put on standby to temporarily assume the duties of the presidency during President Donald Trump’s unannounced visit to Walter Reed hospital in November, 2019.”
LeBlanc quoted a source that used an unnamed source for the report, providing sufficient evidence that this story is conjured to draw attention away from former Vice President Joe Biden’s increasingly obvious decline in mental acuity.
The source, a New York Times reporter, Michael Schmidt, wrote in his forthcoming book Donald Trump v. the United States: Inside the Struggle to Stop a President that he learned “in the hours leading up to Trump’s trip to the hospital, word went out in the West Wing for the vice president to be on standby to take over the powers of the presidency temporarily if Trump had to undergo a procedure that would have required him to be anesthetized.”
CNN, in reviewing an advance copy of Schmidt’s book, admitted that “Schmidt does not specify the sourcing for this reporting beyond ‘I learned.’”
Dutifully, the New York Daily News picked up on the story, calling Schmidt’s book “a bombshell” in which the author “dramatically revives the controversy over the extremely unusual trip to Walter Reed in November 2019, which Trump has never explained.”
It’s a storyline that appeared briefly back in November when CNN intoned dramatically that the president’s trip “was unscheduled,” adding further that “Trump’s trip to Walter Reed took place under unusual circumstances.”
For evidence, CNN said that the president’s visit was not announced in advance, and, instead of taking a helicopter, he rode in the presidential vehicle: “This time, however, the President’s motorcade drove to the medical center unannounced, with reporters under direction not to report his movement until they arrived at Walter Reed. Trump typically takes the Marine One helicopter to Walter Reed, but on Saturday’s clear-skied day, the President opted for the motorcade.”
The story line was so full of holes that it failed to gain traction and shortly disappeared. For instance, if it was an emergency as CNN so breathlessly suggested, why take the car when the helicopter would have gotten him there faster?
CNN pushed the story the next day before it died: “President Trump’s visit to Walter Reed on Saturday did not follow the protocol of a routine presidential medical exam, according to a person familiar with the matter.”
Here’s what actually happened: White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham reported that “it was a routine checkup as part of his annual physical.” She explained that the president decided that since that Saturday was an “open” day in a very busy schedule, he would have part of the exam done at the last minute.
Physician to the President Sean Conley issued an official memorandum to the media following the president’s exam:
This past Saturday the President traveled up to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for a routine, planned interim checkup as part of the regular, primary preventative care he receives throughout the year….
After a little more than an hour of examination, labs and discussions, the President took a brief tour of the hospital to visit with some of the medical staff as well as speak with the family of a soldier undergoing surgery, after which he returned home to the White House.
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.
Specifically, he did not undergo any specialized cardiac or neurologic evaluations.
And there the story lay. The president underwent the rest of his medical exam in February which the media all but ignored.
But now, with new “evidence” appearing that Trump was in trouble, CNN enlisted the help of mystery novelist Don Winslow, who claimed special knowledge that the president had had several “mini-strokes” in August.
With CNN and friends trying to gin up the story again in order to take the spotlight off Biden’s mental difficulties, the president had enough. He tweeted on Monday:
It never ends! Now they are trying to say that your favorite President, me, went to Walter Reed Medical Center, having suffered a series of ministrokes. Never happened to THIS candidate — FAKE NEWS.
Perhaps they are referring to another candidate from another Party!
Hoping no doubt to put the issue finally to rest, the president asked Dr. Conley to respond as well. Conley’s response:
I can confirm that President Trump has not experienced nor been evaluated for a cerebrovascular accident (stroke), transient ischemic attack (mini stroke), or any acute cardiovascular emergencies, as have been incorrectly reported in the media.
The President remains healthy and I have no concerns about his ability to maintain the rigorous schedule ahead of him.
As stated in my last report, I expect him to remain fit to execute the duties of the Presidency.
As for Vice President Mike Pence, he said he is “always on standby, if you’re the vice president of the United States.”
That should put an end to the false narrative, but it probably won’t, as the media seek desperately to deflect public attention from their favorite candidate and his own mental-health issues.