Is This Why Donald Trump Was So Secretive About His Health As President?

While the country as a whole was made aware in a pretty timely fashion that former President Trump was hospitalized with COVID back in October or 2020, we only found in this past February, when The New York Times broke the story, that the then-president had in fact been much, much sicker than his team had allowed the country to understand at the time. As it turned out, what actually happened during Trump's COVID hospitalization was more dramatic than we'd realized. In fact, before he was finally taken to  Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment, those close to him believed he would need to be put onto a ventilator. 

These concerns were well-founded, as he had been found to have lung infiltrates, which appear on an X-ray when a severe infection has caused fluid or bacteria to inflame the lungs. It's a known symptom of a severe case of COVID. Further, his blood oxygen level had dipped into the 80's; COVID is considered severe when blood oxygen dips into the lower 90's. At the time, however, the public was not told any of this. 

As it turns out, there may have been an interesting reason that the White House kept the state of President Trump's health quiet, even before COVID.

Why Trump went to the hospital in 2019

Few things create concern, instability, and lack of faith in the potential longevity of an administration than the ailing health of a president. Considering Trump was already gearing up to run for a second term back in 2019, if his health was poor or he require medical attention at that point, he wouldn't have wanted anyone to know. In her new book "I'll Take Your Questions Now," Stephanie Grisham, Trump's former press secretary and first lady Melania Trump's chief of staff, discusses a mysterious visit to Walter Reid Medical Center Trump had back in 2019. 

While she doesn't outright ever name the procedure, she makes clear hints that it was for a standard colonoscopy, something a man of Trump's age would normally have done as a routine evaluation. So why does this matter? Because of the secrecy and outright lies Grisham claims surrounded this particular visit and other things having to do with Trump's health throughout his presidency.

She says that this hospital visit, which was whispered and speculated about at the time, created weeks of worry about the then-president's health, even though telling his staff and the public that it was a common, standard colonoscopy would have likely quelled the rumors. So why the secrecy? Grisham claims that Trump did not want then-Vice President Pence to officially take over power while he was sedated and incapable of doing his duties. She says he also "did not want to be the butt of a joke" on late-night television."