The doctor removed from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s schedule after criticizing Donald Trump for potentially exposing others to the coronavirus while the president recovered from his infection there said Sunday that he stands by his comments.
Dr. James Phillips expressed gratitude to his colleagues in a tweet Sunday announcing his final shift as an emergency medicine physician at the facility in Bethesda, Maryland.
“Today, I worked my final shift at Walter Reed ER,” Phillips wrote. “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.”
Phillips made headlines in October for bashing Trump’s decision to briefly leave Walter Reed while being treated for COVID-19 and take a joyride in his presidential motorcade to greet supporters gathered outside the hospital.
“Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days,” Phillips had tweeted at the time.
“They might get sick,” he added. “They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity.”
Phillips — the head of Disaster and Operational Medicine in the Emergency Medicine Department of the George Washington University School of Medicine ― worked at Walter Reed on a contract basis.
Earlier this month, CBS News reported that Phillips was being removed from Walter Reed’s schedule. The hospital has denied being behind the decision.
“As you may know, Dr. Phillips worked as a contract employee at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), which provides requirements for contract employees to the contract agency,” Walter Reed said in a statement to HuffPost on Monday. “The contract agency then works together with contract employees to determine individual schedules. There was no decision made by anyone at WRNMMC to remove Dr. Phillips from the schedule.”
Neither Phillips nor his contractor, GW Medical Faculty Associates, immediately returned HuffPost’s requests for comment.
Lisa Anderson, a spokesperson for the George Washington University School of Medicine, told CBS News earlier this month that Phillips remains on staff at GWU Hospital in downtown Washington.
“While we cannot comment on the scheduling assignments of our providers, we can confirm that he continues to be employed at the GW Medical Faculty Associates,” Anderson told CBS News.
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