The White House has revealed that President Bush received undisclosed treatment for Lyme Disease in August of 2006 as reported by ABC. Lyme Disease (Borreliosis) is a bacterial infection that is typically acquired by the bite of an infected tick. Wikipedia has the gory details of this ugly disease:
The disease varies widely in its presentation, which may include a rash and flu-like symptoms in its initial stage, followed by the possibility of musculoskeletal, arthritic, neurologic, psychiatric and cardiac manifestations. In most cases of Lyme disease, symptoms can be eliminated with antibiotics, especially if treatment is begun early in the course of illness.
A percentage of patients with Lyme disease have symptoms that last months to years after treatment with antibiotics. These symptoms can include muscle and joint pains, arthritis, stiff neck, cognitive defects, neurological complaints or fatigue. The cause of these continuing symptoms is not yet known. There is some evidence that they may result from an autoimmune type of response, in which a person's immune system continues to respond even after the infection has been cleared, as well as evidence of ongoing infection with the spirochete.
The White House says that Bush was treated for "early, localized Lyme disease" after developing the characteristic bullseye rash. They provided a lame excuse for why Bush's disease was not disclosed earlier and then gave us the remarkable news that doctors have decided not to perform blood tests to determine the extent of his illness:
White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said Bush's treatment was not disclosed earlier because it happened after his last physical, on Aug. 1, 2006. He said doctors decided not to perform blood tests for Lyme disease because the treatment worked for the one area where the president experienced a rash, and he never progressed to other symptoms or saw a recurrence.
I don't know about you but if I was in Bush's situation I certainly would have had the full battery of blood tests to determine the extent of my affliction with the disease. It certainly is bizarre that Bush's doctors would elect not to conduct such tests when there is clearly no downside to doing so. Why wouldn't they want to be absolutely certain about the extent of the disease? Especially, when the patient is the President of the United States?
The only answer I can come up with is that Bush's doctors already know how bad it is because he has had the disease for a number of years. The President's bizarre behavior during press conferences might be explained by the neurological and cognitive damage of the disease.
It certainly is disquieting that the White House thought it necessary to cover up the fact that Bush has been stricken with this serious disease. And for what reason? Actions like these will only create suspicion that the disease is worse than they are letting on.
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