Dr. James Phillips was a physician in the emergency department of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center when President Donald Trump, admitted for a COVID-19 infection, left the facility to take a quick parade loop in his Presidential motorcade. After speaking out about the irresponsibility of the trip, the doctor is leaving his position.
In October, shortly after Trump shared his diagnosis on Twitter, it became severe enough to result in the president being transferred to Walter Reed. However, he didn’t stay long before he seemed to become restless, and apparently wanted to leave. He ended up settling for a brief car ride, waving to his fans who were gathered outside the building, then returning to his room.
Dr. Phillips (who was not involved in the president’s care) criticized Trump, in a now-deleted tweet, and then on television. You can see his Good Morning America interview below, in which he defends Trump’s right to privacy as a patient, but also agrees that the doctors are under unusual pressure, compared to caring for other COVID-19 patients, to balance their decisions between medical and political.
The influence of politics on these medical decisions was also the subject of the deleted tweet.
Every single person…in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential “drive-by” just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity.
Earlier this month, CBS reported that the doctor had been removed from schedules at Walter Reed, but officials with the hospital denied that it was for any political or punitive reasons.
Today, I worked my final shift at Walter Reed ER. I will miss the patients and my military and civilian coworkers – they have been overwhelmingly supportive. I’m honored to have worked there and I look forward to new opportunities. I stand by my words, and I regret nothing.See Also
— James P. Phillips, MD (@DrPhillipsMD) December 28, 2020
Sunday evening Dr. Phillips tweeted to share that he had worked his last shift at Walter Reed, and would miss the patients and his co-workers, but that he stands by everything he has said, and has no regrets.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com