Reporters covering President Bush’s trip to Africa are dropping like flies. The latest victim was Jon Ward of the Washington Times, who somehow ran through a plate-glass window at the Liberian executive mansion yesterday while trying to keep up with the president. Colleagues say he has cuts on his right hand but is in surprisingly good shape, our colleague Peter Baker reports.
Earlier in the trip, Reuters reporter Deborah Charles fell down at the start of an event in Kigali, Rwanda, and badly injured her hand.
Air Force Col. Richard Tubb, the White House physician, came to her rescue, as he did with any number of aides and reporters who suffered various maladies during the six-day Africa trip, which ended yesterday.
Tubb — who also treated New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd’s stomach flu during Bush’s recent trip to the Middle East — set Charles’s hand and wrist in a soft cast so it wouldn’t get worse before she returned home.
Bush noticed and signed the cast after a media event in Accra, Ghana. Then he invited Ghanaian President John Kufuor to sign it, too. Yesterday, Bush was at it again. After a photo opportunity, he asked Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf if she wanted to sign the cast, which she did.
Not many people boast a cast with signatures from three heads of state. “When you put it on eBay,” Bush told Charles, “I won’t expect a commission.”
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