CNN White House reporter Abby Phillips claimed on Twitter Wednesday that President Donald Trump has heart disease, despite the contrary findings of Trump’s personal physician, Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson.
Phillips linked to WebMD, a non-expert publisher of news relating to health and wellness, to support her claim, despite guidance from the site advising it should not be used in place of medical advice.
Also WATCH: White House reporters actually asked these questions about Trump’s health
Phillips noted that Jackson told reporters Trump has nonclinical coronary atherosclerosis — that is, hardening of the arteries near the heart, a form of coronary artery disease. The finding is nonclinical, however, meaning that Jackson did not detect other signs or symptoms suggesting a serious medical issue, or that the symptoms he did find do not rise to the level of an official diagnosis.
He also indicated that the rate of calcium proliferation near his heart, which causes the hardening of arteries, has slowed, a sign he found encouraging.
Other cardiologists told The New York Times Trump’s calcium levels are not cause for concern. Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist at the Scripps Research Institute, told TheNYT that Trump’s calcium scores are not in a dangerous range. Topol also said he found Trump’s high cholesterol deeply concerning.
Perhaps most importantly, Jackson emphasized that the president’s overall cardiac profile is quite strong, the atherosclerosis notwithstanding. He reached this conclusion after consultations with heart specialists at elite medical institutions.
A full transcript of the exchange is available below:
WebMD’s own operating terms state it should never be used in place of professional medical counsel.
“[T]he original editorial information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment,” the site’s editorial policy reads. “Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the WebMD Site!”
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