Trump Required Walter Reed Staff To Sign Nondisclosure Agreement In 2019

KEY POINTS

  • During a trip to Walter Reed on Nov. 16, 2019, Trump allegedly required both physicians and nonmedical staff to sign an NDA
  • It’s still unknown whether the president required the Walter Reed staff to sign a nondisclosure in his most recent visit
  • Doctors tending to patients are prohibited by federal law from disclosing patients’ personal health information without consent

President Trump has required personnel at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to sign a nondisclosure agreement before treating him. 

During a trip to Walter Reed on Nov. 16, 2019, Trump required both physicians and nonmedical staff to sign an NDA. At least two doctors at Walter Reed refused to sign the NDAs and were not permitted to have any involvement in the president’s care, NBC News reported. 

It’s still unknown whether the president required the Walter Reed staff to sign a nondisclosure in his most recent visit. 

Doctors tending to patients are prohibited by federal law from disclosing patient’s personal health information without consent. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protects patients’ confidential health information, which raises the question of why Trump would ask staff members at Walter Reed to sign an NDA.

“Any physician caring for the President is bound by patient-physician confidentiality guaranteed under HIPAA, and I’m not going to comment on internal procedures beyond that,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.

Transparency about Trump’s health has been a major concern since the president tested positive for COVID-19. Trump, his administration, and the physicians attending to him painted a murky picture of how the president is recovering. Dr. Sean Conley, the president’s physician, has refused to answer key questions, such as when Trump last tested negative for the virus and whether the illness has caused him to develop respiratory problems.

Conley continues to cite HIPAA when dodging questions on the president’s health. “We’ve done routine standard imaging. I’m just not at liberty to discuss,” Conley said on Monday. 

Conley’s written updates on Trump’s health have included the note “I release the following information with the permission of President Donald J. Trump.”

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