CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta disputed President Trump’s clean bill of health this week, claiming that the numbers actually suggest the president has heart disease.
“The president has heart disease,” the neurosurgeon, who has never examined Mr. Trump, declared on “New Day” Wednesday, adding that the president needs a medical plan to prevent a major heart problem in the near future.
Dr. Gupta said the presence of calcium in Mr. Trump’s blood vessels has greatly increased since 2009, and that the coronary calcium score released by the White House on Tuesday indicated that the president had already well surpassed the threshold for having heart disease and being at risk for a heart attack.
Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, a rear admiral in the Navy and a longtime White House physician, determined during Mr. Trump’s first medical exam in office that the 71-year-old president is in excellent physical and cognitive health. During a nearly hourlong press briefing Tuesday, Dr. Jackson said the president does not have heart disease.
“No, he does not have heart disease,” he told Dr. Gupta at the briefing, the Washington Examiner reported. “I think he had great findings across the board, but the one that stands out more than anything to me is his cardiac health. His cardiac health is excellent.”
Speaking on CNN, Dr. Gupta pushed back against Dr. Jackson’s claims.
“They’re going to be increasing the medications, including the cholesterol-lowering medications to try and combat that, but there’s no question, by all standards, by all metrics, anyway a doctor or cardiologist will look at it, the president does have heart disease,” Dr. Gupta said, The Hill reported.
A White House official told the Washington Examiner that it had nothing to add to Dr. Jackson’s statements.
“The question was asked and answered very clearly. Perhaps Dr. Gupta should take the cognitive exam?” the official said.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during a press briefing Wednesday that Dr. Jackson is “the only credible source when it comes to diagnosing any health concerns” of the president.
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