CNN White House reporter Abby Phillips claimed Wednesday on Twitter that President Donald Trump has heart disease, despite the contrary findings of Trump’s personal physician, Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson.
Phillips linked to WebMD, a non-expert publisher of news relating to health and wellness, to support her claim, despite guidance from the site advising it should not be used in place of medical advice.
Phillips noted Jackson told reporters on Tuesday that Trump has nonclinical coronary atherosclerosis — that is, hardening of the arteries near the heart, a form of coronary artery disease. The finding is nonclinical, however, meaning Jackson did not detect other signs or symptoms suggesting a serious medical issue, or that the symptoms he did find do not rise to the level of an official diagnosis.
Jackson also indicated that the rate of calcium proliferation near his heart, which causes the hardening of arteries, has slowed, a sign he found encouraging.
Perhaps most importantly, Jackson emphasized that the president’s overall cardiac profile is quite strong, the atherosclerosis notwithstanding. He reached this conclusion after consultations with heart specialists at elite medical institutions.
Specifically, when Jackson was asked at Tuesday’s White House news briefing if Trump has heart disease, his response was definitive.
“And he does have heart disease, is that what you said?” a reporter asked.
“No, he does not have heart disease,” Jackson replied.
But the reporter wasn’t done, saying, “Because he had a CT scan before that showed calcium in his coronary blood vessels.”
“He does. He did,” Jackson responded. “He had a — so technically, he has nonclinical atherosclerotic coronary — coronary atherosclerosis. And so that’s been mentioned in previous physical exams he’s had done.”
“He had a coronary calcium score done in 2009. It was 34. He had a coronary calcium score done in 2013 that was 98. And then we did get a calcium score from this one; I didn’t mention it because I think it was clinically good information. It wasn’t — but it was 133,” he added.
“So I had a long conversation with the cardiologist — not only the cardiologist at Walter Reed, but the cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic and several other well-known institutions — and everyone saw that as reassuring that he’s gone this period of time and he’s had that much — or that little of a change in his coronary calcium load. So that I think, overall, his coronary calcium score is very reassuring and goes along with the rest of his cardiac workup.”
WebMD’s own operating terms state it should never be used in place of professional medical counsel.
“(T)he original editorial information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment,” the site’s editorial policy reads.
“Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the WebMD Site!”
A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.
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