Trump still hasn't taken his annual physical and it's starting to get weird

Jeva Lange

President Trump's aversion to taking his annual physical is starting to get … a little weird. It has now been six months since the president claims to have "started" his routine physical at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, NBC News reports, with Trump saying in early March that he is simply "too busy" to do the second part. But even his process is mysterious, since physicals aren't typically conducted in multiple stages over the course of several months.

There is plenty of reason for the public to feel invested in the president's physical wellbeing right now, too. Earlier this week, Trump said he was taking the prescription drug hydroxycholorquine as an unproven and potentially dangerous prophylactic to ward off the COVID-19 coronavirus. The drug has well-documented risks, including causing dangerous heart arrhythmia even in healthy people. Last November, Trump also made an unscheduled trip to Walter Reed, where the 73-year-old underwent what was later described as an "interim checkup," although one insider told CNN at the time that the visit was "abnormal."

Trump completed his 2019 physical in the month of February and his 2018 physical in January. During his November 2019 two-hour examination at Walter Reed, he began what the White House said were "portions" of his 2020 exam. It has now been six months since that initial check-up took place, and the "more comprehensive" exam assured by his doctor, which would have included the president's labs and exam results, has so far — to public knowledge — not taken place.

“At the appropriate time" Trump has promised he will finish his annual physical. "But I feel very good.”

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