As you may know by now, we reported here on Friday that Vice President Dick Cheney had visited the cardiac unit at the Vail Valley Medical Center.Incidentally, compare all this secrecy with the excess of openness Reagan always demonstrated with his health, knowing his age and the concerns of the American people. He was responsible by comparison. I don't know what else you'd call letting the American people see his polyps via a camera in his ass. Of course, part of this at the time was to draw a difference between that and the Soviet habit of preventing any details of their leader's actual health from being known.
After the hospital denied the vice president had been there at all, Cheney’s office put out the story, swallowed whole by the AP, that he had simply gone for a routine visit to orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Richard Steadman.
Indeed, the local paper, the Vail Daily, reported yesterday that "he dropped by to say hi to his favorite knee doctor, Richard Steadman.”
Finally, sources close to Dr. Jack Eck, whom the vice president saw in the cardiac unit, were acknowledging yesterday in Vail that he had been to the cardiac unit (the AP has still not updated its story to include this) but AFTER he had seen Dr. Steadman, and that he had had a prophylactic EKG while he was there.
Wow. So now in the space of 48 hours, we have three stories:
First, denial that Cheney was ever at the hospital.
Second, an acknowledgement that he was at the hospital after all, but only for an old knee injury.
Third, that after he was checked for the knee injury, he was taken to the cardiac unit to have an EKG, but only prophylactically.
So: why all the secrecy? And if this was only a routine knee check-up, why check in under a false name, Dr. Hoffman -- which sources tell us is the name of the vice president’s doctor in Washington.
And if it was a routine knee exam, why not have Dr. Steadman go out to Beaver Creek, where Cheney was staying?
And why is the White House so forthcoming with health details about President Bush, including his cholesterol increasing from 167 to 170 and his body fat percentage increasing from 14.5% to 18.25%, but somehow the nation doesn't have the right to know what exactly the vice president was doing at the Vail hospital?
So many questions...so little leveling with the American people.