Doctor leaving Walter Reed after criticizing Trump: ‘I regret nothing’
James Phillips, an attending physician at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, says he has no regrets after being written off the facility’s schedule following his remarks criticizing President Trump.
“I will miss the patients and my military and civilian coworkers – they have been overwhelmingly supportive,” Phillips wrote in a Sunday tweet. “I’m honored to have worked there and I look forward to new opportunities. I stand by my words, and I regret nothing.”
Today, I worked my final shift at Walter Reed ER. I will miss the patients and my military and civilian coworkers – they have been overwhelmingly supportive. I’m honored to have worked there and I look forward to new opportunities. I stand by my words, and I regret nothing.
— James P. Phillips, MD (@DrPhillipsMD) December 28, 2020
Earlier this month, it was reported that Phillips had been written off Walter Reed’s scheduled following his comments objecting to Trump’s behavior while he was being treated for the coronavirus.
A representative for Walter Reed told NPR in a statement that the medical center “provides requirements for contract employees to the contract agency.”
“The contract agency then works together with contract employees to determine individual schedules. There was no decision made by anyone at [Walter Reed National Military Medical Center] to remove Dr. Phillips from the schedule,” read the statement
In early October, when Trump was hospitalized due to contracting COVID-19, Phillips, who is also the chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University, wrote a highly critical tweet after the president rode in a motorcade and waved to supporters while he was still sick with the virus.
“That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack. The risk of COVID19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures. The irresponsibility is astounding. My thoughts are with the Secret Service forced to play,” wrote Phillips in the since-deleted tweet.
In an interview with the “Today” show following his message on Twitter, Phillips said Trump’s motorcade excursion was “a dangerous move.”
“Beyond the risk that was imparted on those Secret Service agents, volunteering or not, it’s the message that is sent to other people who are sick that it’s OK to go out,” he said.
Phillips has been a regular presence in the media since the pandemic began, offering his advice as an emergency physician. Recently, he received the coronavirus vaccine live on CNN in order to encourage others to do the same.
Believe the science! https://t.co/krwONiEfxV
— James P. Phillips, MD (@DrPhillipsMD) December 15, 2020
The Hill has reached out to Phillips and Walter Reed for comment on his departure.