The news that president Trump’s personal physician, Dr. Harold Bornstein, released a letter about his health that was dictated to him by Trump will be forgotten about roughly this time next week. We can safely add it to the extraordinary list of lies and unconstitutional activities that Congress will never hold Trump to account for.
“If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” Dr. Bornstein wrote about Trump in 2015.
According to Bornstein — whose office was apparently raided by Trump’s staff — Trump’s medical test produced “only positive results” and “his physical strength and stamina are extraordinary.”
This we now know to be complete nonsense because Bornstein has now told CNN that he wrote down whatever Trump told him to. “He dictated that whole letter. I didn’t write that letter,” Bornstein told CNN on Tuesday. “I just made it up as I went along.”
The notion that a 70 year old man who doesn’t exercise and only eats junk food could be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency” was farcical from the beginning, but given the fact that the GOP and much of the media refused to do anything it about it, Trump was given a pass.
Just think about what would have happened if President Obama had gotten his personal doctor to lie about his health in the lead up to his candidacy in 2008. Would a Republican Congress have given him a pass? Here for example, is Sarah Palin and Sean Hannity discussing the prospect of impeaching Obama in 2014 for being an “imperial presidency” (whatever that means) and not enforcing immigration laws (that he was actually enforcing):
Outrage in right wing circles included Obama asking for spicy mustard on his burger and wearing a tan suit.
Fast forward to the Trump presidency, and it is apparently OK to coerce a physician into publicly lying about your health — a very serious transgression that would under other circumstances lead to a full blown investigation and impeachment process. Why? Because the public has the right to know about the health and fitness of their Commander in Chief — should he or she be in any risk of collapsing on the job, they would be unable to fulfill their obligations to the country and pose a serious national security risk. We do not know what state of health president Trump is in, and that presents a very real issue for the safety of the country.
The norms Trump is incinerating in his chaotic presidency is setting an extraordinarily dangerous precedent for future leaders. Trump is proving you can lie, cheat and bullshit your way into the presidency, then continue behaving like a boorish thug without consequence. Dr Bornstein’s fake medical letter is further proof that Trump does not take the notion of democracy or the rule of law seriously, and is content to run the country surrounded by sycophants who will never stand up to him.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.