A presidential candidate’s health is legitimately important. Playing with whispering campaigns and outright accusations of each others’ health is just idiotic, for both candidates. Hillary Clinton released some kind of medical statement and history. Donald Trump released a one-page letter.
I think the person who came closest to the truth about both Clinton and Trump is Dr. Ben Carson, Donald’s best frenemy. From CNN:
“I think that somebody who is running for president of the United States, particularly if they’re elderly, and that would include both major candidates, should disclose their medical history. And I’m not talking about from a year ago or two years ago. I’m talking about currently,” Carson said.
“Anybody who is elderly should expose their records and we, the people, should know what they are. It’s a very stressful job. It’s not an eight hour a day job. it’s 24/7 and we need to make sure it’s taken care of.”
Both candidates are legitimately elderly. Neither is a paragon of fitness. For a doctor to write about Trump “I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency” is beyond farcical.
Let’s compare a few past presidents.
Look at President Obama. In his first term, he worked out six days a week, and regularly played basketball. He doesn’t do that as much, but he at least quit smoking. You can see how much Obama has aged–the office does take a toll. George W. Bush might have been the fittest president ever. He ran 6 days a week, trained on the elliptical, biked and lifted weights. He ran the Houston Marathon in 1993 and finished in 3:44. Bush also aged quite a bit in office.
Ronald Reagan was elderly, and until he was physically unable due to the ravaging effects of Alzheimers, he enjoyed outdoor work at his California ranch. He rode horses, chopped wood, swam, and worked out in the White House on weights and a treadmill–a routine he started while mending from his gunshot wound. Reagan might have been the only president to leave office looking about as spry as when he entered it.
Now the slow-boiling pot of stories about Clinton’s health which has been regularly stirred by every Trump acolyte in the media has been countered by Clinton’s team with one of their own. There’s good reason to believe that Trump’s “medical report” from 2015 was nothing more than a blank form over a friendly doctor’s signature.
Both Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald and CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta took issue with Trump’s doctor letter. Gupta said:
“I don’t even know what to make of this letter,” he told CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield on Tuesday. “Whether you are a doctor or not, that degree of hyperbole and these words being used is very unusual. People don’t write like that. … ‘Strength and stamina are extraordinary’ — what does that mean, exactly?”
Eichenwald pointed out that the letter was almost obviously generated from Microsoft Word, using the same font in the header as the body of the letter. It was addressed to “To Whom My Concern” instead of “To Whom It May Concern.” The letter conveys almost no useful medical information such as family history.
And no doctor worth trading two goats and a chicken would ever refer to a “complete medical examination that showed only positive results.” Even I, who get squeamish watching reruns of “House,” know that “positive” means you have the condition, and negative is good.
Dr. Bornstein is a gastroenterologist. Let me get a bit personal. I am seeing a gastroenterologist now. My personal physician referred me after two or three tests came back negative for a specific complaint I have. When the problem is diagnosed and corrected, I will no longer see the specialist.
Gastroenterologists are not internists or general practitioners. They are very specialized in digestive tract issues and deal with diet, digestion and related things. You don’t get a “complete medical examination” from a gastroenterologist or see one for 39 years, unless he’s the son of your dad’s poker buddy or you’ve got some pretty severe tummy problems. Given that Trump eats KFC and McDonalds pretty regularly, and mainlines Diet Cokes all day, he probably isn’t fighting IBS or Crohns, so that leaves the other option.
“Here, doc, sign this.”
“Okay, Donald, anything for you.”
And some campaign flunkie typed up the most horrific, unprofessional, finest, best, terrific, superlative medical report in the history of fake medical reports over the signature.
Eichenwald focused on Dr. Bornstein’s email and Internet domain.
The letterhead includes a Gmail address—something doctors tell me is extremely unusual, since doctors do not want patients contacting them directly by email as a substitute for scheduling an appointment.
There is also a website listed, but if you follow the URL (haroldbornsteinmd.com), sometimes it takes you to cdn.freefarcy.com, a blank page that asks if you want to upload an update to a Flash program onto your computer (the domain name, freefarcy.com, is still for sale. No, I can’t explain that.) If you decline, it does so anyway and, based on the response of the security system on my computer, the “program” on the doctor’s supposed website is a virus. (Other times it takes you to a generic medical website. No, I can’t explain that either.)
I looked up the domain. It’s privately registered by an anonymizer. That’s used to protect the privacy of the owner. Apparently Dr. Bornstein is okay with his gmail address being public but not the details of his website ownership. The domain appears to be hosted by Above.com (I used a common tracing tool to find it), a domain “monetizer,” whatever that is. Their website describes it thusly:
AutoPilot helps you operate at a level above parking services by making them compete in real-time for each and every one of your domain visitors. It’s free!
Our premium advertisers love direct navigation traffic. As a result, they are anxious to outbid parking companies in order to get as much traffic as they can.
That would explain why the website redirected to random, seedy and malware-infested destinations. When I tried it, it redirected to annoyingteddy.com, which I closed before it could load to see what that could possibly be.
Almost beyond the shadow of a doubt, Trump’s one-page medical report is a sham. Clinton is probably not as healthy as she claims either, but again, both of these people are elderly.
Maybe with Trump it’s a matter of pride–it’s none of anyone’s business what’s in his medical records. That would be a respectable position, except that Trump is running for president. If health was a major issue for Reagan (it was), then it should also be for Trump.
Here’s the problem: We all know Hillary is a liar. It’s not beyond her to cook her medical reports. But she’s a professional liar who knows how to make everything look proper. Trump is simply a huckster, who believes the even the yuuuge lies can be overlooked if you throw enough bull excrement at them.
Given that if either of these clowns dies in office, we’ll get either the milquetoast former governor of Indiana or the milquetoast former governor of Virginia, we don’t have a whole lot to lose either way. But please, stop treating us like idiots and quit with the phony accusations and counter-accusations. It’s not funny anymore.
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