Donald Trump: February 2019 Physical Examination


circus-like physicals
 
For physical exams while he was a private citizen, Trump said, "Well, I try and do it every year" 1. His long-time personal physician has written: "He has had an annual physical exam in the spring of every year" 2.

As a candidate, Trump issued three statements about his medical health:

  • 2015: (December)   MORE 3 (Physician statement #1)
  • 2016: (September)  MORE 2 (Physician statement #2)
  • 2016: (September)  MORE 1 (Interviews: Dr. Oz, Fox)
Since taking office, Trump has had more-or-less yearly physical examinations at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center:
  • 2017: (January)  Takes office.
  • 2018: (January)  MORE 4 Press briefing: MORE 5
  • 2019: (February) SEE BELOW 6
  • 2019: (November) MORE 7
The main medical results from these evaluations are tabulated elsewhere MORE, and are discussed in various pages.

Comment: Incredibly, these physical examinations, which one would expect to be routine, staid affairs, took on circus-like characteristics:

  • The 2015 report had ridiculous, unprofessional hyperbole that made Trump's physician a national laughingstock. It later emerged that Trump wrote this report himself.
  • The 2018 report was delivered during a press conference in which the President's physician made good-humored and properly caveated remarks that commentators unfairly inflated to ridiculousness.
  • The first 2019 report, though more subdued (and, sadly, far less complete), still contained unsupportable prognostications from the new presidential physician.
  • The second 2019 report, for Trump's "interim checkup" if that's what it really was, is a shambles. Subtexts of the nonsensical statements from the White House and the President's physician strongly suggest it was not a routine examination at all, but a hurried, abrupt consultation at Walter Reed for undisclosed medical reasons.

Hence, three times in two years confidence in the office of the President's physician was undermined -- a low ebb in its history. Even with a perhaps unwarranted acceptance that the President's medical team has been completely and honestly forthcoming, all this sturm und drang is itself dangerous, as it can easily detract from substantive medical issues -- as it already seems to have done with Trump's sleep.


More...
This is the publicly-released report of President Trump's physical examination of February 8, 2018.

Comment: It was not, unfortunately, nearly as complete or detailed as the previous year's examination report MORE. No doubt this changed style was adopted because of the criticisms attending the previous year's disclosure, and because of the change in physician.
 
Despite this, criticism devolved on the sentence "I am happy to announce that the President of the United States is in very good health and I anticipate that he will remain so for the duration of his Presidency, and beyond."
 
To some, the physician was promising more than he really knew. Indeed, it would have been better to say something like: "As compared to last year's evaluation, this year's disclosed nothing new that might negatively impact the President's prognosis for a long and healthy life." It would not be surprising if non-medical forces pushed the physician to be as upbeat as possible.
 
As with the 2018 examination, this one appallingly omitted any mention of sleep pathology, whether present or absent.

The results were issued six days later 6:
Cited Sources
  1. Cillizza, Chris; Blake, Aaron. Donald Trump's interview with Dr. Oz was just as amazingly strange as we thought it would be. (Published 15 September, 2016. Downloaded on 2019-12-01.) Available on the web: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/09/15/donald-trumps-visit-with-dr-oz-was-just-as-amazing-as-you-though-it-would-be/
        

    Comment: Also includes annotations by Cillizza and Blake. Their interview transcript is archived here: MORE

  2. Bornstein, Harold N. [Public Letter]. (Published 13 Sept. 2016. Downloaded on 2019-11-30.) Available on the web: https://assets.donaldjtrump.com/DJT_Medical_Records_.pdf
        

    Comment: Dr. Bornstein became Trump's physician in 1980. Bornstein's letter is linked to by Frizell (op cit) and is archived here -->   MORE

  3. Bump, Philip. Donald Trump's doctor came down with a case of Trumpitis. (Published 26 Aug. 2016 (revision of original Dec. 2015 story). Downloaded on 2019-11-25.) Available on the web: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/12/14/donald-trumps-doctor-has-come-down-with-a-case-of-trumpitis/
        

    Comment: This articles relates to the first of Dr. Bornstein's letters, reprinted here -->   MORE

  4. Jackson, Ronny L. (M.D.). The President's Periodic Physical Exam. (Published January 16, 2018. Downloaded on 2019-11-21.) Available on the web: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Summary-of-Physical-Exam-for-President-Trump-12-Jan-2018.pdf
        

    Comment: The document is archived here -->   MORE. Also highly informative is the press briefing where the report was delivered: MORE.

  5. Sanders, Sarah; Jackson Ronny. Press Briefing by Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and Dr. Ronny Jackson. (Published 16 Jan. 2018. Downloaded on 2019-12-28.) Available on the web: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/press-briefing-by-press-secretary-sarah-sanders-and-dr-ronny-jackson-01162018/
        

    Comment: A transcript of the press briefing is archived here --> MORE

  6. Conley, Sean (D.O.). The President's Second Periodic Physical Exam. (Published February 14, 2019. Downloaded on 2019-11-25.) Available on the web: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/memorandum-physician-president-2/
        

    Comment: The document is archived here -->   MORE

  7. Conley, Sean (D.O.). Interim Check Up. (Published November 18, 2019. Downloaded on 2019-11-21.) Available on the web: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
        

    Comment: The document is archived here -->   MORE


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