President Reagan is in excellent health and is fully recovered from the March 30 attempt on his life, White House physician Daniel Ruge reported yesterday.
In summarizing the findings of a detailed physical examination the president had last week at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, Ruge noted that Reagan has a minor cold and suffers from a "decrement in auditory acuity" and has "visual refractive error." In other words, he has lost some hearing and needs to wear glasses or contact lenses.
Ruge also reported that doctors found the president has asymptomatic colonic diverticula, meaning he has small pouches on the colon that are not inflamed and do not bother him. Half of America has the same condition, White House deputy press secretary Larry Speakes said.
The report on the excellent health of the president came as Reagan, 70, spent 45 minutes yesterday morning considering what approach to take to the extension of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
He listened to Attorney General William French Smith and Melvin Bradley, the White House staff member dealing with minority affairs, discuss the options at a Cabinet meeting.
Last summer Reagan appeared to drop his objections to provisions of the act that hold states and parts of states guilty of past discrimination to a special test.
Reagan ended the Cabinet meeting discussion by saying, "The matter rests with me, and I will make a decision," Speakes said, adding that a decision is likely in a few days.
Reagan also met yesterday morning with members of Congress to discuss the farm bill. White House officials say the House-passed bill is $9 billion over the president's budget, and the Senate-passed bill $3 billion above what he sought.
Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) told reporters after the meeting, however, that the president appeared to find the Senate bill acceptable.
Speakes said the president has not made up his mind, but wants to work closely with Congress to work out a farm bill he can sign. Reagan has vowed to veto "budget-busting" bills, but has not declared any bills as sure targets for vetos.
Reagan ended his working day with a lunch with Vice President Bush and the top three White House advisers, presidential counselor Edwin Meese III, chief of staff James A. Baker III and deputy chief of staff Michael K. Deaver.
Then he went horseback riding with his good friend, Sen. Paul Laxalt (R-Nev.).