A doctor at Walter Reed Medical Center who publicly criticized President Donald Trump during his recovery from COVID-19 will soon be off the hospital’s schedule.
According to recent reports, James Phillips, an attending physician who accused Trump of engaging in “political theater” earlier this year, will leave the prestigious military hospital early next year.
The president was admitted to the facility in October and Phillips claimed that he endangered the lives of Secret Service agents when he ventured outside the hospital to greet supporters during his brief stay.
With many Americans expressing concern upon hearing of his admission, he surprised well-wishers gathered near the hospital with a brief motorcade appearance shortly before he was discharged.
His decision to leave his hospital room was also met with criticism, however, including Phillips’ conclusion that it was “completely unnecessary” and amounted to “insanity” on the part of the president.
“Every single person … in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days,” he said at the time.
The physician predicted that they “might get sick” and “may die,” asserting that Trump commanded them to “put their lives at risk for theater.”
“I got into a secure vehicle”
While CBS reported that Phillips, who had been working on a contract basis, is off the schedule starting in January, Walter Reed staff said that the hospital only “provides requirements for contract positions” and did not make the decision to let the physician go.
“Schedules are determined by the contractor,” the hospital explained. “There was no decision made by anyone at WRNMMC to remove Dr. Phillips from the schedule.”
The doctor also serves as George Washington University’s chief of disaster medicine. Although he was the only prominent Walter Reed doctor to publicly criticize the president, Trump’s subsequent return to the White House was met by opprobrium from his usual opponents.
Mainstream media outlets were quick to report Phillips’ remarks in a transparent bid to portray the president as reckless.
Trump defended his action at the time, tweeting: “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!!!”