News and Commentary

Walter Reed Doctor Who Blasted Trump For ‘Drive-By’ Removed From Schedule, Works Last Shift
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.
ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images

An emergency room doctor at Walter Reed Medical Center who publicly blasted President Donald Trump during his bout with the novel coronavirus worked his last shift over the weekend after being removed from the hospital’s rota schedule.

Both on social media and through television appearances, Dr. James Phillips criticized POTUS back in October for waving to supporters from inside a vehicle, with a mask on, while fighting the China-originated virus.

“Today, I worked my final shift at Walter Reed ER. I will miss the patients and my military and civilian coworkers – they have been overwhelmingly supportive,” Phillips posted to Twitter on Sunday. “I’m honored to have worked there and I look forward to new opportunities.”

“I stand by my words, and I regret nothing,” the doctor added, seemingly implying he was taken off the schedule for his public criticism of the president.

Walter Reed officials, according to The Independent, have denied “removing the doctor and said he had fulfilled the requirements for contracted positions.” Phillips was taken off the hospital rota schedule in December, completing his last shift on Sunday.

Trump, 74, spent a few days in the hospital as a precautionary measure after he tested positive for the virus in October. Supporters gathered outside the hospital to show their support for Trump and to pray for the president. In return, POTUS took a memorable ride past the supporters, offering them a wave. Though his medical team was kept in the loop about his plans, Trump’s so-called “drive-by” appearance sparked outrage by legacy media and some in the medical community like Dr. Phillips.

At the time, Phillips blasted Trump: “That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof but hermetically sealed against chemical attack,” the doctor tweeted. “The risk of COVID19 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.”

Trump responded to the criticism via social media, writing, “It is reported that the Media is upset because I got into a secure vehicle to say thank you to the many fans and supporters who were standing outside of the hospital for many hours, and even days, to pay their respect to their President. If I didn’t do it, Media would say RUDE!!!”

After Trump recovered from the virus, he encouraged Americans to be positive and not to live their lives in fear while being cautious.

“I just left Walter Reed Medical Center, and it’s really something very special—the doctors, the nurses, the first responders—and I learned so much about coronavirus,” Trump said, The Daily Wire reported at the time. “And one thing that’s for certain, don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it. You’re gonna beat it. We have the best medical equipment; we have the best medicines—all developed recently—and you’re gonna beat it.”

“I went, I didn’t feel so good, and two days ago, I could have left two days, two days ago I felt great, like better than I have in a long time,” he continued. “I said just recently, ‘better than 20 years ago.’ Don’t let it dominate. Don’t let it take over your lives. Don’t let that happen.”

“We’re the greatest country in the world,” Trump said. “We’re going back, we’re going back to work, we’re gonna be out front. As your leader, I had to do that. I knew there’s danger to it, but I had to do it. I stood out front; I led. Nobody that’s a leader would not do what I did, and I know there’s a risk, there’s a danger, but that’s okay. And now I’m better and maybe I’m immune, I don’t know.”

“But don’t let it dominate your lives,” the president concluded. “Get out there, be careful. We have the best medicines in the world, and it all happened very shortly, and they’re all getting approved, and the vaccines are coming momentarily. Thank you very much—and Walter Reed, what a group of people. Thank you very much.”

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