The White House physician has denied rumors that Donald Trump suffered a stroke last year after frantic speculation following vague claims in an upcoming book by a New York Times writer. Trump also denied the claims on Twitter.
In a statement on Tuesday, Dr. Sean Conley said he could confirm that Trump “has not experienced nor been evaluated” for either a stroke or mini-stroke, or indeed “any acute cardiovascular emergencies” as had been “incorrectly reported” in the media.
Twitter was set ablaze with speculation on Tuesday following an excerpt in the New York Times from an upcoming book by Times reporter Michael Schmidt. In the book, Schmidt claims a visit to Walter Reed Hospital in November of 2019 had Vice President Mike Pence “on standby to take over the powers of the presidency if Trump had to undergo a procedure that would have required him to be anesthetized.”
Though the excerpt from the upcoming book did not offer further details or mention a stroke specifically, Trump critics soon had “#TrumpStroke” trending on Twitter, and many began endlessly theorizing about what could have happened to the president and whether he was currently stable enough to do his job. Some recalled an incident in which Trump was seen having trouble lifting his water glass with his right hand.
Trump only fueled speculation further by tweeting a denial of the entire thing, specifically denying that he had suffered “a series of mini-strokes.” Schmidt was quick to note on Twitter that his book “says nothing about mini-strokes” in particular.
The president concluded his denial with a dig at Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, whose long list of gaffes and incidents of stumbling through interviews have led critics to question the 77-year-old’s own mental health.
“Perhaps they are referring to another candidate from another Party!”
In his statement, Dr. Conley said the president “remains healthy” and that he has “no concerns” about his ability to maintain a rigorous schedule and execute the duties of his office.