It’s now clear that two public assessments of President Trump’s health since 2015—the only ones we know about—were seriously compromised.
The import of this has been eclipsed by other (more salacious) recent events—Stormy Daniels, etc. But what has transpired raises troubling questions and should prompt a reassessment of how candidates for president and presidents are medically evaluated, and the public’s right to that information.
The first assessment of Trump’s health, conducted in 2015 by his personal physician of 35 years, Harold Bornstein, is now under a dark cloud. Bornstein told CNN this month that Trump dictated the contents and language of a one-page letter signed by Bornstein and released publicly by the Trump campaign in the early months of the campaign.
The letter aimed to assuage concerns about Trump’s age and health status. Clinton and Trump were two of the oldest candidates ever to make a presidential bid and neither had shared much information about their health status up to that point; both were under pressure to do so.
“He dictated that whole letter. I didn’t write that letter,” Bornstein told CNN. He had previously admitted (in August 2017) that he had typed the letter in his office in just five minutes while a limo sent by Trump waited outside.
At the time, the four-paragraph letter seemed suspicious, to say the least. It didn’t contain any details of test results or the like. Instead, the letter made unusual and hyperbolic statements about the president’s health such as: “His [Trump’s] physical strength and stamina are extraordinary.” And: “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”Continue reading…