WASHINGTON — President Reagan's former physician said Monday that Reagan's recovery from the 1981 assassination attempt was "superb" and disputed the description in a new book of a disoriented President who frightened aides by his poor condition.
"I never saw anything like that . . . . It's certainly news to me, and I was there most of the time," said Dr. Daniel Ruge, who retired in 1985 as physician to the President.
Washington Post editor-reporter Bob Woodward, in a new book about the late CIA Director William J. Casey, said that Reagan portrayed a robust recovery for the cameras but was actually slower to mend and return to his duties than widely believed.
"It's not true," Ruge said in a telephone interview from his Denver home. "I think his recovery was superb."
Ruge said he has usually refused to speak with the media but was interested in offering his version of the events during those tumultuous days.