The Walter Reed Doctor Who Spoke Out Against Trump's Covid Joy Ride Appears to Have Been 'Removed'

Illustration for article titled The Walter Reed Doctor Who Spoke Out Against Trump's Covid Joy Ride Appears to Have Been 'Removed'
Photo: Alex Edelman / AFP (Getty Images)

Remember when Trump was in the hospital with covid approximately 50 years ago (in October)?

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OK, now remember when he left the hospital to take a little hermetically-sealed joy ride to greet his supporters outside?

James Phillips, the lone Walter Reed doctor who publicly spoke out against that ill-advised excursion, has been “removed” from the hospital’s 2021 schedule, according to CBS News.

In a statement to CBS, Walter Reed officials denied that anyone at the hospital made the decision to remove him. They maintained that Phillips’s contractor, GW Medical Faculty Associates, is responsible for his schedule, since he works as an attending physician at Walter Reed on a contract basis.

Schedules are determined by the contractor,” officials told the outlet.There was no decision made by anyone at WRNMMC to remove Dr. Phillips from the schedule.”

Of course, contracted employees can decide not to re-sign their contracts once they’ve expired—or their employers can decide not to renew them. I’m not sure which is the case here, but the sequence of events seems more than a little coincidental, especially since Phillips later deleted his tweets criticizing the president.

“That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack,” Phillips wrote on Twitter at the time. “The risk of COVID19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures. The irresponsibility is astounding.”

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Another now-deleted tweet read: “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.”

I’ve reached out to Phillips for comment and will update this post if he responds. If he doesn’t, I wish him well and hope he finds comfort in the knowledge that everything he said was exactly right!

Night blogger at Jezebel with writing at The Baffler, The Nation, The New Republic, Vice, and more.

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jinni
jinni

Surgeon General 2021.