Doctor who criticized Trump’s actions during COVID-19 hospital stay removed from Walter Reed schedule: report

trump walter reed
A car with US President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020.

  • Dr. James Phillips has been removed from the schedule at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center beginning in January, according to CBS News.
  • Phillips criticized President Donald Trump for his decision to greet supporters while he was being treated for COVID-19 in October.
  • During an October 5 interview on “Today,” Phillips said that Trump’s actions were “a dangerous move” and the “wrong message to be sending.”
  • Walter Reed officials told CBS News that the hospital “provides requirements for contract positions,” and stated that “schedules are determined by the contractor.”
  • The president was treated at Walter Reed for four days before being released.
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Dr. James Phillips, the emergency room physician who called out President Donald Trump for his decision to greet supporters while he was being treated for the coronavirus in October, has been removed from the schedule at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center beginning in January, according to CBS News.

On October 4, Trump rode in a motorcade with attending Secret Service agents while still being infected with COVID-19. Phillips, the chief of disaster and operational medicine at George Washington University and an attending physician at Walter Reed, harshly criticized the president’s actions at the time.

In a tweet that has since been deleted, Phillips wrote: “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.”

He added in another tweet that has also been deleted: “That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack. The risk of COVID-19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures. The irresponsibility is astounding. My thoughts are with the Secret Service forced to play.”

During an October 5 interview on “Today,” Phillips said that Trump’s actions were “a dangerous move” and the “wrong message to be sending.”

Officials at Walter Reed told CBS News that the hospital “provides requirements for contract positions,” and stated that “schedules are determined by the contractor.”

They added: “There was no decision made by anyone at WRNMMC to remove Dr. Phillips from the schedule.”

This decision comes more than two months after Phillips’ initial criticism and a month after President-elect Joe Biden defeated Trump in the November general election.

“Colleagues of Dr. Phillips were surprised that a disaster medicine specialist would be eliminated from the schedule at a busy military hospital at a time when Maryland is nearing a record high for COVID-19 hospitalizations,” according to CBS News.

Trump, who revealed his COVID-19 diagnosis on October 2, stayed at the Walter Reed facility in Bethesda, Maryland for four days before being released. The first lady, Melania Trump, and their son, Barron, were also infected with the virus but recuperated at the White House.

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