Why Trump’s ‘live’ Fox News health check is raising eyebrows

Because there have been so many rumors surrounding President Donald Trump’s health, we thought we might get some clarity when Fox News promised what it said what would be the president’s first on-camera interview, where the president would undergo a medical evaluation on camera. The network added, “Dr. Marc Siegel will conduct a medical evaluation and interview during the program” (via The Daily Beast). And while the president was indeed on camera for his first live interview, which host Tucker Carlson — and all of us — would say is a remarkable recovery, Carlson noted on his show (via Fox News), “This was his first time talking on camera about what happened. We should know that these are very unusual circumstances. Normally we’d send our own camera crew into the White House to interview the president, but because his diagnosis was just a week ago, we had to rely on the White House camera team for that interview. Dr. Siegel interviewed the president from New York.” The network then ran what appeared to be a prerecorded interview.

Fox’s decision to keep crews away from the White House is in keeping with the CDC’s recommendation that most people can stop self-isolating 10 days after they first show symptoms of having COVID, if their medical condition has improved, they haven’t had a fever for 24 hours, and if they aren’t on medicines that control a fever (via WGN9). But all of this meant there was not actually a “live” exam of any kind performed, and that immediately raised eyebrows.

Trump credits his success to fighting COVID by seeking early medical treatment

During the chat, the president provided his perspective on what happened at Walter Reed Medical Center — of particular interest to reporters was the state of his lungs, which the coronavirus is known to attack. On camera, Trump said, “They [doctors] tested the lungs, they checked with the lungs, they tested with different machinery, incredible stuff that I’ve never even seen before. And it tested good… initially, I think they had some congestion in there, but ultimately [I think it] tested good, and with each day it got better. That’s why they wanted me to stay, frankly, but the CAT scans were amazing, the equipment is incredible” (via Twitter). He also said he felt strong and has been medication-free for eight hours before the exam. 

Trump also said, “The biggest question is that I did do it early, I had such great access to medical, we have White House doctors who are great, and we have so many doctors. It’s a lot easier for me than it is for someone who doesn’t have access to doctors so easily [and where] it’s a big deal to see a doctor. But here we have them all over the White House, watching from every corner. But very important for me, was very early… and I think it would have gotten a lot worse. One of the doctors said he thought it would have gotten a lot worse. I just think these medications, they’re a lot better if you get them early than if you get them late” (via Fox News).

Twitter: Trump is having a telehealth exam

Some took to Twitter to express their bemusement over Trump’s televised medical exam. One tweeted: “The President is having a tele-health ‘exam’ on FOX News with Dr. Marc Siegel, who asked what his worst symptoms were when he went to Walter Reed. Trump said he ‘didn’t feel strong’ and experienced ‘weakness’ until his Regeneron cocktail.” Another said bluntly, “I’m watching the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen,” along with a screen capture of the interview taking place. A third shared a clip of the president saying he has been retested, along with the clip of Trump saying, “I haven’t even found out numbers or anything yet but I’ve been retested and I know I’m either at the bottom of the scale or free.”

CNN’s Jim Acosta confirmed that the president is scheduled to speak at a public rally at the White House on Saturday (via Twitter).

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