“In the hours leading up to Trump’s trip to the hospital, word went out in the West Wing for the vice president to be on standby to take over the powers of the presidency temporarily if Trump had to undergo a procedure that would have required him to be anesthetized.”
This all matters because a) Trump is the oldest person ever elected to a first term as president b) he’s seeking a second term that would have him in office until he is 78 and c) we know less about his medical history than about any previous president.
It’s that last point that, to me, makes the unscheduled trip to Walter Reed last year, and the clear lack of transparency by the White House about it, so concerning.
Which, of course, is crazy. Bornstein had never examined any past president. So his ability to claim that Trump would be the “healthiest individual” ever to be president is roughly equivalent to my ability to say the same.
At the time the letter was released, it was subject to widespread mockery — mostly because it read like Trump himself had written it. Which it turns out he did, at least according to Bornstein.
So, take a step back. The only information we have about Trump’s health, prior to the annual physical he is subject to in the White House, comes in the form of a letter that his personal physician at the time says was entirely dictated by Trump. And the medical records that might shed some light on Trump’s past medical history have been confiscated by Trump associates!
Trump’s annual physicals since coming into office have shed very little light on, well, much of anything.
“I actually took one when I — very recently, when I — when I was — the radical left were saying, is he all there? Is he all there? And I proved I was all there, because I got — I aced it. I aced the test. … I took it at Walter Reed Medical Center in front of doctors. And they were very surprised. They said, that’s an unbelievable thing. Rarely does anybody do what you just did.”
Taken as a whole, we know very, very little about Trump’s medical history. And, as Schmidt’s reporting makes clear, we don’t yet have the full story of what happened in November 2019.
All of which is remarkable, given that Trump has made questions of health a major line of attack against former Vice President Joe Biden in this general election. (Biden, who will turn 78 shortly after the election, would eclipse Trump as the oldest person ever elected to a first term.) And Trump, without any evidence, has repeatedly questioned Biden’s mental capacity and ability to do the job he is seeking. For what it’s worth, there is also no evidence of Biden suffering from any sort of medical issue like Trump alleged in his Tuesday tweet.
Trump’s strategic decision to put a premium on health and mental acuity means that it’s fair game to want answers about his own standing on those issues. And, with Schmidt’s new reporting added into the mix, we have A LOT more questions than answers on that front.