Doctor: Scalia suffered from many health conditions

By Cheryl Chumley

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (Photo: Twitter/Allen West)
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (Photo: Twitter/Allen West)

A physician who attends members of Congress and the Supreme Court said in a letter Justice Antonin Scalia’s death was due to his many medical conditions – that there was nothing suspicious to see and those who thought otherwise were not fully informed.

Adm. Brian Monahan, the attending doctor for high-profile Washington, D.C. officials, said in a February 16 letter to Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara that was cited by Presidio County District Attorney Rod Ponton that “significant medical conditions led to [Scalia’s] death,” the Associated Press reported.

Among those medical conditions: sleep apnea, degenerative joint disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and high blood pressure, the letter stated. Scalia, 79, was also a smoker, Monahan noted.

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Ponton wouldn’t provide a copy of the letter to the press, however. Rather, he said those wishing to obtain the document must make an open records request to Guevara.

Members of the AP did file an open records request to Guevara a week ago, but she didn’t provide the letter, the wire service reported. The Texas Department of State Health Service also refused to release a copy of Scalia’s death certificate.

Scalia died suddenly on February 13 while visiting the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a facility owned by a wealthy businessman and Democratic Party donor named John Poindexter who had met President Obama on at least one prior occasion to accept a military service award, as WND previously reported. Scalia’s death quickly raised the suspicions of some in the media, including conservative radio host Michael Savage who bluntly asked, as WND previously reported: “Was Scalia murdered?” The query came in part because initial reports indicated Scalia’s body was found with a pillow over his head; in part because his death was declared by a local official over the phone; and in part because authorities decided early on to not perform an autopsy.

“A lot of people do die in their sleep and they’re found the next day,” said another doctor quoted in the AP article, Mark Hlatky, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at Stanford University.

Hlatky also said Scalia’s medical conditions could be associated with pulmonary embolism and stroke, and that could “kill somebody very suddenly,” AP reported. “It sounds like [Scalia’s death] wasn’t suspicious.”

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has also raised eyebrows at Scalia’s sudden death, and the failure of authorities to perform an autopsy that could confirm or deny much of the information put forth by law enforcement and medical officials.

Trump’s widely quoted remarks on Savage’s radio show about Scalia’s death included this remark: “They say they found a pillow on his face which is a pretty unusual place to find a pillow.”

The Presidio Count Sheriff’s Office told the Washington Post just this week a breathing apparatus was discovered on the night stand next to Scalia’s bed, but said the justice wasn’t hooked to it. The sheriff’s department also clarified the position of Scalia’s body, saying three pillows were stacked beneath his head and one appeared to have fallen onto his eyes and forehead. The report from the sheriff’s office cited by the Washington Post noted the pillow didn’t seem to interfere with the justice’s breathing.

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Ponton said Scalia’s death “was handled in a similar fashion as the cases of other elderly people who have died in Presidio County,” AP reported.

At the same time, the AP reported justices of the peace actually investigate deaths in rural Texas, but both who served the Presidio County region were not in the area at the time of Scalia’s death and were unavailable to respond to the scene.

Also of interest is this from Tony Mauro, writing for the National Law Journal: “Bryan Garner, a close fried of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who recently traveled with him to the Far East, said on [February 14] that Scalia’s health was ‘very robust’ until the end of his life. ‘He was unbelievably energetic and always on the go’ during the trip to Singapore and Hong Kong that ended February 4, said Garner, the co-author of two books with Scalia. ‘Having spent 14 hours a day with him so recently, he seemed very strong. I was stunned and shocked’ at Scalia’s death.”

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