Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover’s sixty (60) plus day hospital stay last year was reported to be needed to repair bilateral quadriceps muscles injured by a fall while visiting a Caddo Parish school. Glover emerged from Christus Schumpert in early December in a somewhat diminutive size – having shed over 100 (probably 150 plus) pounds in his short stay. Glover was congratulated on his return to work and his very sizable weight loss.
No one can argue that the Mayor’s weight reduction was not only in his best interests and that of his family, but also the City of Shreveport while he serves as Mayor. But the real issue to those that follow City Hall closely is did Glover have any other surgery(ies) while at Christus Schumpert Hospital. To almost every observer, there is little doubt that Big G (who is no longer “Giant G”) had a gastric-bypass surgery to effectuate his very needed weight loss.
Numerous press releases concerning Glover’s health were issued during Glover’s hospital stay and then after his return to City Hall. These polished missives talked of his good spirits, successful leg surgeries, rehab efforts, great hospital care and the ability of Big G to function as Mayor from a hospital bed. None of these mentioned anything about surgery to effectuate weight reduction; however, no reasonable explanation was provided for what would appear to be a loss of over 2 pounds a day during his hospital visit. (Surely the food was not that bad!)
Like any citizen, the details of Glover’s medical care is protected from public release without his permission by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA); thus routine inquiries to third parties about Glover’s surgeries are routinely ignored. However, Glover is an elected official and any statements by him (or his office) concerning his surgery and hospital care that may have been misleading (if not totally false) should be subject to public scrutiny and confirmation.
Glover’s health and his ability to effectively perform his duties as the City’s top elected official are legitimate matters of public concern, and to a limited extent, they are proper inquiries for the media. Thus, the protections afforded by HIPAA and privacy concerns should not trump the public’s right to know, – and the obligations of Glover for accurate disclosure, – of minimum treatment information.
An email to Rod Richardson, Glover’s Director of Communications, asked if the Mayor had gastric bypass surgery last fall while at Schumpert. Richardson’s reply was “the only thing I can tell you is not true.” Perhaps the question should have been a broader inquiry as to any type of invasive procedure(s) to effectuate weight loss. The rather guarded response, as well as Glover’s track record on media relations, leads an observant “tea reader” to believe there’s more to the story.
There’s little doubt that Glover has future aspirations in politics, – his employment resume can only list elected offices as credentials for any further jobs, whether in the public or private sector. There’s no disgrace in having surgery to effectuate weight loss, – but a deliberate cover up, if not total misrepresentation, to the citizens he serves as mayor is not acceptable.
Glover has never been shy with the media, and he generally has used every opportunity for a photo-op, – especially on camera. He certainly enjoyed (and obviously orchestrated) his media injury/surgery while in the hospital and his “miraculous” early return to City Hall. (For the record, how Glover was taken to the hospital after the reported major injuries is a mystery. No EMS calls were made that day to transport Glover after his fall.) He could have easily explained his surgery procedure as a part of hospitalization, and even credited Michele Obama’s campaign on obesity as a motivating factor.
Seemingly Glover has dropped the ball, – big time – on an opportunity to not only gain favorable publicity, but also to not deceive the public. Maybe his hospital stay and treatment really did affect his mental capabilities to serve as Shreveport’s Mayor.