Trump dictated note saying his health was excellent, says doctor
New York doctor Harold Bornstein said Trump “dictated that whole letter. I didn’t write that letter.”Updated: May 03, 2018 00:10 IST
Harold Bornstein, the long-haired doctor who caught global attention in 2016 with a glowing health assessment of the then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, is now saying it was dictated by his long-time client himself.
“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.”
Here is what the report had said: “His physical strength and stamina are extraordinary. If elected, Mr Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”
Bornstein also alleged that medical records about this star patient were snatched by Trump’s bodyguard, Keith Schiller, and two other men in a “raid” on his office in 2017. The incident, he told NBC News, had left him feeling “raped, frightened and sad”.
The White House confirmed the records were carried away but denied it was a raid. “As is standard operating procedure for a new president, the White House medical unit took possession of the president’s medical records,” press secretary Sarah Sanders told a daily news briefing.
But there was no response to the dictation charge.
Trump has had some doctor problems lately. Admiral Ronny Jackson, the White House physician to the president whom Trump had nominated to head the sprawling department providing healthcare to military veterans, was forced to withdraw after questions were raised about his work ethics.
And now with Bornstein, a New York physician who has been the personal doctor for Trump for more than 35 years.
But he was barely known outside the Trump world before August 2016, when in the aftermath of Hillary Clinton’s health issues, questions were raised about Trump’s health.
And attention came to be belatedly focussed on a four-paragraph report that Bornstein had apparently written in December 2015. “Mr. Trump has had a recent complete medical examination that showed only positive results,” the note had said.
“Actually, his blood pressure, 110/65, and laboratory results were astonishingly excellent. His physical strength and stamina are extraordinary.”
Bornstein told CNN that Trump dictated the letter while he and his wife were driving across the Central Park in New York City. “(Trump) dictated the letter and I would tell him what he couldn’t put in there,” Bornstein said. ‘They came to pick up their letter at 4 o’clock or something.”
The report had raised questions then as well, given the superlatives. Bornstein stood by the assessment, only conceding that it was written in a hurry as a limo sent for Trump had waited outside. But he had insisted the letter was all his writing.
Trump went on to get a clean bill of health from the White House physician, Jackson, who earlier served presidents George W Bush and Barack Obama.
“He has incredibly good genes and it’s just the way God made him,” Jackson told reporters while releasing his first health report on Trump. He went on to jokingly say, “I told the president that if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years he might live to be 200 years old.”
Trump is in excellent health, from all accounts including that of Jackson, but he has been the subject of some talk given his fondness for steaks, McDonald’s burgers and fries, and lack of exercise other than his weekly trips to his golf courses.