Dr. James Phillips, the emergency room physician who publicly criticized President Trump's decision to drive with Secret Service agents to greet supporters while he was hospitalized with COVID-19 in October, has been removed from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center's schedule starting in January, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Phillips is chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University and works as an attending physician on a contract basis for Walter Reed, which is located in Bethesda, Maryland. On October 4, after the president rode in his motorcade around the hospital, Phillips tweeted, "Every single person...in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential "drive-by" just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity." The tweet has since been deleted.
Walter Reed officials deny they made the decision to remove him, telling CBS News the hospital "provides requirements for contract positions. Schedules are determined by the contractor. There was no decision made by anyone at WRNMMC to remove Dr. Phillips from the schedule."
That suggests that it was Phillips' contractor, GW Medical Faculty Associates, that removed him from the schedule. Lisa Anderson, the Assistant Director of Media Relations at George Washington University School of Medicine, told CBS News that Dr. Phillips remains on staff at GWU Hospital in downtown Washington, DC. "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 said.
The move comes two months after Phillips' tweet and one month after Mr. Trump was defeated by President-elect Biden. Colleagues of Dr. Phillips were surprised that a disaster medicine specialist would be eliminated from the schedule at a busy military hospital at a time when Maryland is nearing a record high for COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Phillips was hardly the only one to criticize the president for choosing to be in close proximity to Secret Service agents for the brief outing, but he was the only Walter Reed doctor to so publicly criticize the president. Mr. Trump stayed at Walter Reed for four days in October after he was diagnosed with COVID-19.
This story has been updated to include a response from the George Washington University School of Medicine.