Encountering Donald Trump is not a normal experience no matter who you are. It is an automatic ticket to the Twilight Zone, even if you work at a world renowned medical facility like Walter Reed hospital. When Trump made a sudden appearance there on November 16 of last year, the first thing he did was whip out a sheaf of NDAs for one and all to sign. NBC News:
During a surprise trip to Walter Reed on Nov. 16, 2019, Trump mandated signed NDAs from both physicians and nonmedical staff, most of whom are active-duty military service members, these people said. At least two doctors at Walter Reed who refused to sign the NDAs were subsequently not permitted to have any involvement in the president’s care, two of the people said.
The reason for his trip last year remains shrouded in mystery.
The four people familiar with the process did not know whether, during the president’s most recent visit over the weekend, he had the same requirement for Walter Reed staff members who had not previously been involved in his care.
Now read this, because this is where it gets interesting.
Anyone providing medical services to the president — or any other American — is automatically prohibited by federal law from disclosing the patient’s personal health information without consent. The existing legal protection for all patients under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, raises the question of why Trump would insist that staff members at Walter Reed sign NDAs.
Why indeed? Unless something substantially beyond the norm is going on, or, maybe Trump just likes to have a feeling of power over one and all — or maybe both. All that we can say for sure, is that there is no transparency when it comes to Trump’s medical condition and never has been. Even his height and weight have been fudged over the years.
His current physician, Sean Conley, refuses to answer questions about when Trump last tested negative for coronavirus or whether contracting the virus caused him to develop pneumonia. These are basic questions and Conley dodges them on a regular basis.
“We’ve done routine standard imaging. I’m just not at liberty to discuss,” Conley told reporters Monday when asked whether the president had any pneumonia or inflammation in his lungs.
Conley’s written updates on Trump’s health have included the note “I release the following information with the permission of President Donald J. Trump.”
Maybe the next question to Conley should be, “Did you sign an NDA? And why?” This is getting bizarre, even for Trump world. Next thing you know, Trump will associate Dr. Seuss in on his case and make him sign an NDA.