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Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2005 at 9:30 AM
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Saturday that President George W. Bush would be at the Cleveland Clinic on Thursday, Jan. 27 for a "tech trip." The consultation in Cleveland is PRIVATE. White House spokesman Jim Morrel said it is part of a push to "discuss providing affordable health care to more Americans and other initiatives." However, the trip to Cleveland is said to be specifically to DISCUSS the benefits of "health information technology." Mr. Bush is not known to have any medical or information technology expertise but is known to have a heart irregularity.
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President Bush was hiding this during the 2004 election and was hiding a wearable cardioversion defibrillator (WCD) under the back of his suit jacket. One of the things that he apparently inherited from his father is atrial fibrillation (AF), which can cause a deadly episode of ventricular fibrillation. His fainting and falling spells are well documented. The White House physician, Richard Tubb, has admitted that president Bush has a heart irregularity, bradycardia (abnormally low heartbeat rate); but Tubb denies that it is abnormal, taking the line that Mr. Bush is an athlete.
If you read the description http://www.cleveland.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news/1106397006153060.xml?nnusa , this doesn't seem like much of a presidential mission.
Why Cleveland and why no press conference if the idea is to promote medical information technology? Cleveland is not known as a media center, but the Cleveland Clinic has been the nation's No. 1 heart hospital and the destination of rich and famous heart patients for years. Perhaps Mr. Bush got a referral from the royal family of Saudia Arabia, whose late king was treated there.
The device Mr. Bush wears has a modem to connect to the WCDNET (registered trademark). The WCDNET is a data storage and retreival network by means of which the WCD wearer (including, presumably, Mr. Bush) uploads his/her ECG data weekly for cardiologist review.
Read the article and decide for yourself: Does this sound like much of a presidential mission?
The trip to Cleveland Thursday is to DISCUSS the benefits of for "health information technology," or electronic medical records [here he may have some personal experience, as noted], computerized prescriptions, and other innovations that the White House says saves patients time and money. Is Mr. Bush to deliver a scientific paper on telemedicine as well?
Too bad the press will not be allowed to participate so they can help the president get the word out on these measures. One hopes the president will reconsider.
Vice President Cheney had an internal cardioversion defibrillator implanted in a one-and-a-half-hour operation in June 2002. This basically is an internal version of the device Mr. Bush was wearing when captured on TV. Could this be the end of the "Bush bulge" story?
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