Did Donald Trump suffer a stroke? The hashtag flooded the internet on Monday night after a new book claimed that the United States president had an unplanned visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last November, while Vice President Mike Pence was placed on 'standby' to assume the presidency.
Last year, the president made an unannounced trip to the hospital for 'quick exam and labs' as part of his annual physical exam out of anticipation of a 'very busy 2020,' the White House said at the time.
But the surprise nature of the trip has surfaced questions about the president's medical condition.
And in Michael Schmidt's 'Donald Trump v. the United States,' released on Tuesday, the author writes Pence was on standby if the president had to undergo a procedure that would have required anesthesia.
It is the job of the vice president to assume executive powers should the president be incapacitated in some way, according to the 25th amendment to the Constitution.
The last time a vice president took such a step was Dick Cheney in July 2007 when George W. Bush underwent a colonoscopy and was under sedation.
Putting speculations to rest
Trump's physician issued a clarification on the trending topic about Trump having a stroke or a series of mini-strokes.
"I can confirm that President Trump has not experienced nor been evaluated for a cerebrovascular accident (stroke), transient ischemic attack (mini stroke), or any acute cardiovascular emergencies, as have been incorrectly reported in the media," said Dr. Sean Conley in a statement. "The president remains healthy and I have no concerns about his ability to maintain the rigorous schedule ahead of him. As stated in my last report, I expect him to remain fit to execute the duties of the Presidency."
In a statement at the time of Trump's hospital visit, then-White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said that Trump had undergone a 'quick exam and labs' and that he 'remains healthy and energetic without complaints.'
But Trump's visit to the facility had raised so many questions about the then 73-year-old's health that the White House released a memo a few days later denying 'speculation' that he had been treated for a medical emergency.
The full results of the president's physical were released in June and he was reported to be 'healthy.'
Trump's tell-all book
Schmidt's book, meanwhile, 'tells the dramatic, high-stakes story of those who felt compelled to confront and try to contain the most powerful man in the world as he shredded norms and sought to expand his power,' according to its Amazon.com description cited by The Daily Mail.
Trump has consistently accused Joe Biden, his 77-year-old presidential opponent, of mental frailties related to his age. But the president's own mental health has also been widely questioned, in light of his uncertain movements in public.
Nullifying the previous speculations around the hospital visit, centered on whether the president suffered a heart attack, Trump, on Tuesday, wrote: "It never ends! Now they are trying to say that your favorite president, me, went to Walter Reed medical center, having suffered a series of mini-strokes."
"Never happened to THIS candidate – FAKE NEWS. Perhaps they are referring to another candidate from another party!" he added to the thread further.