Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday January 15, 2002
President Bush Chokes on a Pretzel
President Bush fainted for a few seconds late yesterday afternoon after a pretzel he was eating went down wrong as he watched a football game in his bedroom, the White House announced. A series of tests showed he was healthy, but he has a scrape and a bruise on his face from falling off a couch, officials said.
Richard J. Tubb, the White House physician, said neurological, cardiopulmonary and laboratory examinations performed after the incident had normal results. He said the fainting apparently was caused by a momentarily decreased heart rate brought on by the wayward pretzel.
Bush, 55, who runs a seven-minute mile, had been feeling under the weather earlier yesterday. Officials said that as of last night, he planned to continue with today’s planned three-state trip, including an overnight stay in New Orleans.
White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said Bush was watching the National Football League playoff game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Miami Dolphins about 5:35 p.m. on the third floor of the White House. First lady Laura Bush was reading elsewhere in the residence. The president was alone except for their dogs, Spot and Barney.
“He was eating a pretzel, and he said it felt like it did not go down right,” said Fleischer, who talked to Bush shortly after the incident. “He fainted. He woke up what he believes were a few seconds later.” (Washington Post)