Trump ‘Remains Healthy’ After Taking Hydroxychloroquine, His Doctor Says
A summary of President Trump’s health reported that he had gained one pound since last year but had seen a decline in his cholesterol levels.
WASHINGTON — President Trump’s cardiac health was closely monitored while he took a two-week course of hydroxychloroquine to prevent contracting Covid-19, his physician said on Wednesday, and the president completed the treatment “safely and without side effects.”
That assessment was contained in a summary of Mr. Trump’s health compiled by Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician, who also reported a one-pound weight gain by the president since last year, as well as a decline in his cholesterol levels.
“Based on my history, examination and consultations, the data indicates the president remains healthy,” Dr. Conley wrote.
But the summary was not the customary report released in the past by Mr. Trump and other presidents immediately after an annual physical exam. Rather than one examination, the summary was based on an unknown number of medical appointments that included a highly unusual unannounced visit the president made to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in November, and another from a checkup conducted at the White House in April.
In his report, Dr. Conley did not explain the Walter Reed visit or give specific dates for Mr. Trump’s two-week drug regimen of hydroxychloroquine.
Mr. Trump began taking the hydroxychloroquine, along with vitamin D and zinc, in May after two administration officials tested positive for the coronavirus. Mr. Trump has repeatedly promoted the drug as a cure for Covid-19 while offering little proof of the drug’s efficacy, and dismissed the views of many doctors and scientists — including some in his own administration — who question whether it is safe to use as a treatment.
“Here’s my evidence: I get a lot of positive calls about it,” an indignant Mr. Trump told reporters after unexpectedly announcing he was taking the drug.
After the president’s announcement that he was taking hydroxychloroquine, Dr. Conley released a letter in which he said he had “concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.”
In that letter and in the report released Wednesday, Dr. Conley did not specify whether he had prescribed the hydroxychloroquine. Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, would not comment on that question or any others about the summary.
“Nothing to add to this memo or the doctor’s memo on hydroxychloroquine,” he said.
Historically, presidential checkups tend to buoy whatever image the commander in chief wishes to present about his health, and presidents can decide how little or how much information to release, like any other medical patient. A review of medical records dating back to President Jimmy Carter shows that there is no template for how a report is released, and the amount of information presidents have chosen to share varies.
This year, the decision to publish the results came after Mr. Trump weathered scrutiny over taking a drug more commonly used to treat arthritis and malaria to treat a virus that has killed more than 107,000 Americans.
Dr. Conley said that Mr. Trump’s weight was 244 pounds, a one-pound increase from last year. At 6 feet 3 inches tall, the president has a body mass index of 30.5. Anyone with a B.M.I. over 30 is considered obese.
Mr. Trump, a longtime fan of junk food, has not succeeded in losing the 10 to 15 pounds he was said to want to lose after earlier checkups by Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, the former White House physician, who at the time had enthusiastically declared his patient in “excellent health.”
Dr. Jackson, who is now running for Congress from Texas, said then that Mr. Trump’s wife, Melania Trump, and his daughter, Ivanka, would help the then-239-pound president lower the fat and carbohydrate content of his diet and get exercise.
On Wednesday, Dr. Conley did not address how that program was going, or say whether he had made any recommendations about losing weight to the president.