- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 2, 2003

WACO, Texas (AP) — President Bush’s doctors pronounced him in excellent health after his annual physical examination yesterday and said a calf strain that had slowed his running regimen has healed.

He had several small skin growths treated as a preventive measure, the doctors said after examining Mr. Bush for about 3 hours at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.

Mr. Bush chose to have an unspecified number of previously identified nasal telangiectasias cauterized, spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters on Air Force One as Mr. Bush flew to his Texas ranch for a monthlong stay.

Telangiectasias are common in people with sun damage and appear as vessels on the surface of the skin. Mr. Bush had them around his nose.

Mr. Bush, 57, also had four small lesions removed from his cheeks and arm with liquid nitrogen. The potentially cancer-causing skin lesions, a common condition known as actinic keratoses, are caused by exposure to the sun.

The summary of the physical declared Mr. Bush “in excellent health and fit for duty.”

“All data suggests that he will remain so for the duration of his presidency,” it said.

The president has resumed his running routine after recovering from a muscle tear in his right calf in April that forced him to give up his seven-minute-mile runs for several weeks.

The doctors called the calf injury “resolved,” but urged him to continue a stretching and cross-training program. Mr. McClellan said Mr. Bush is “doing a lot of stretching.”

A fitness buff, Mr. Bush has lowered his times back down to about 7-minute miles, Mr. McClellan said. As part of yesterday’s physical, Mr. Bush kept that pace while running between two miles and three miles on a treadmill.

Mr. Bush runs three days a week and supplements that with a “water jog” once a week in the White House pool. He also uses an elliptical trainer for 25 minutes, three times weekly, and exercises his upper body by lifting free weights twice a week.

Mr. Bush has complained recently about aching knees that he attributes to age, aides said. He is taking chondroitin glucosamine, a joint relaxer, Mr. McClellan said. Mr. Bush also takes vitamins and a daily aspirin.

Presiding over the medical exam were White House physician Dr. Richard Tubb and Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the president of the Cooper Aerobics Center. They also oversaw Mr. Bush’s previous two physicals.

The summary of the physical reported Mr. Bush “remains in the superior fitness category for men his age,” and shows no evidence of coronary artery disease.

He has a mild high frequency hearing loss that is unchanged from previous examinations, and a mild hyperopic astigmatism which has the effect of farsightedness.

Mr. Bush smokes an occasional cigar and does not drink alcohol. He has caffeine in diet sodas and coffee.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bush said the economy’s improved growth rate in the second quarter is a sign that his policies are starting to have a positive effect — though he acknowledges unemployment is still a problem.

“The best way to promote growth and job creation is to leave more money in the pockets of households and small businesses, instead of taxing it away,” Mr. Bush said in his radio address for yesterday. “So we lowered income tax rates, cut taxes on dividends and capital gains, reduced the marriage penalty and increased the child tax credit.”

But in the Democratic radio address, Virginia Gov. Mark Warner said the Bush tax cuts are creating huge federal deficits while creating a financial crisis for states, which have to cut important programs or raise taxes.

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