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Trump says he's in 'very good' health after unscheduled medical checkup

Donald Trump has said he is in “very good” health following the first phase of an annual medical check, after spending more than two hours at a Washington medical center for an appointment that had not been announced in his public schedule.

Trump tweeted on Sunday that he “began phase one of my yearly physical” at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington on the previous day. “Everything very good (great!). Will complete next year,” he said.

The White House said Trump had undergone a quick exam and some laboratory tests. The appointment wasn’t on Trump’s weekend public schedule, and his last physical was in February.

White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, said the 73-year-old president wanted to take advantage of “a free weekend” in Washington to begin portions of his routine checkup.

“Anticipating a very busy 2020, the President is taking advantage of a free weekend here in Washington, D.C., to begin portions of his routine annual physical exam at Walter Reed,” Grisham said in a statement on Saturday, referring to the re-election race Trump faces ahead of the US election in November 2020.

Grisham provided no details about the exam or laboratory tests that Trump underwent during his ninth visit to the medical center since taking office, and did not explain why the visit had not been disclosed in advance. Trump’s 2018 and 2019 physicals were both announced ahead of time and appeared on his public schedule.

She said the president also visited the medical staff and thanked them for their care of wounded service members, and met with the family of a special forces soldier injured in Afghanistan.

“The President remains healthy and energetic without complaints, as demonstrated by his repeated vigorous rally performances in front of thousands of Americans several times a week,” Grisham said.

Trump also spent time at the hospital meeting with the family of a special forces soldier injured in Afghanistan. And he visited with medical staff “to share his thanks for all the outstanding care they provide to our wounded warriors, and wish them an early happy Thanksgiving”, Grisham said.

The president’s trip to the medical center triggered questions on social media since it came months before the annual physical has been carried out in the past.

In a tweet, Grisham said questions about the surprise visit to the medical center were irresponsible. “Seems to be a lot more fun for people/some reporters to speculate & spread irresponsible/dangerous rumors,” she said.

The White House typically determines what data will be released from the president’s health exam. Trump is not compelled to release any information, and there is no template for the presidential exam.

In February, Trump was declared “in very good health” by the White House physician after hours of examinations.

Trump, known for his love of hamburgers and well-done steaks and an aversion to the gym, gained weight from his physical in 2017, pushing his body mass index into the obese category.

Trump’s last checkup, in February, showed he had gained weight in office. At 110kg (243lb) and 190cm (6ft 3in), he passed the official threshold for being considered obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 30.4.

That checkup, which was supervised by Trump’s physician, Dr Sean Conley, took more than four hours and involved a panel of 11 specialists.

Saturday’s test came as House investigators on Capitol Hill were interviewing a White House budget official as part of the impeachment inquiry. Trump has insisted he did nothing wrong.

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