A press conference at the White House was interrupted this afternoon when a journalist passed out and President Obama had to call for his personal doctor.
This occurred as the president was discussing the refugee crisis currently unfolding in Aleppo, saying that he feels some personal responsibility for what’s happening there. Obama stopped speaking about Syria when he noticed that something was going on in the back of the briefing room. He was told that a reporter was feeling ill, and he asked if someone could take care of the situation, but it took several minutes to be resolved.
“Does somebody want to go to my doctor’s office…Can somebody help out please and get Dr. Jackson in here,” Obama asked.
Obama then had to provide directions to his doctor’s office.
“Go through the Palm doors. It’s right next to the Map Room,” the president said.
President Obama’s doctor is Ronny L. Jackson, a rear admiral who officially holds the title of physician to the president. Most White House doctors are chosen by the president himself, and many of them are military officers.
It was not immediately clear which member of the press fainted, but the White House Briefing Room was far more packed than usual on Friday afternoon, as this was President Obama’s final press conference of the year and his comments about Donald Trump were widely anticipated.
According to The Hill, the woman who fainted was helped into a chair after falling to the ground, and she regained consciousness after about a minute.
This instantly became the subject of hundreds of jokes on social media, with Republicans and Democrats offering alternate explanations for the incident.
It’s also one of a number of instances of a person fainting while President Obama was giving remarks. In 2013, while Obama was delivering a speech about the launch of the Affordable Care Act, a pregnant woman standing behind him passed out, and the president helped stop her from falling over. This sparked numerous wild, baseless conspiracy theories that the woman was planted by the administration.
At Friday’s press conference, Obama spoke for over an hour, with one of the major topics being Russia’s role in the recent presidential election. The president said that Ronald Reagan would be rolling over in his grave if he could see the way that many Republicans are now defending Vladimir Putin.
All in all, though, Obama was rather calm throughout the entire conference, once again not seeming too bothered by the fact that in one month, a president-elect will take office who promises to undo Obama’s entire legacy.