I don’t get excited about my yearly physical, much less anyone else’s. I don’t remember ever caring about President Obama’s, and one was engaging in conspiracy theories if you gave a second thought to Hillary Clinton’s.
But, please, let’s all have a conversation about President Trump’s yearly exam and what it means.
CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta was certainly excited about it. In a needlessly lengthy piece on the channel’s website, Gupta noted how Trump “used (his last exam) as an opportunity to quiet critics who questioned both his physical health and mental acumen.”
“As part of last year’s physical Trump requested then-White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson to do something quite unusual, He asked him to administer a cognitive exam,” Gupta wrote in the Thursday piece.
“These types of exams are not a routine part of a standard physical. Jackson, who was also the physician to President Barack Obama, said it was the first time he was aware of any president taking any sort of cognitive test.”
I won’t subject you to the rest of the article as it’s roughly as long as the conversation with my physician discussing the results to my last exam, except to note that Gupta seems concerned with the fact that Trump could have a heart problem.
“In the official readout of the physical exam the White House did not reveal that Trump also had a coronary calcium test done. Upon questioning, Jackson told reporters the President had undergone the heart scan and scored 133 on the test,” he wrote. “According to the Mayo Clinic, ‘a score of 100 to 300 — moderate plaque deposition — is associated with a relatively high risk of heart attack over the next three to five years.’ Previous medical records indicate that in 2009 his coronary calcium score was 34, and in 2013 it was 98.”
That article appeared Thursday. One day later, we found out that unless the president’s doctor is lying, Gupta’s speculation was a big fat waste of text.
A letter from Dr. Sean P. Conley, physician to the president, says that Trump passed his physical with flying colors.
“This afternoon at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the President participated in a second periodic physical examination,” Conley wrote in the Friday letter.
“Over the course of approximately four hours, I performed and supervised the evaluation with a panel of 11 different board certified specialists. He did not undergo any procedures requiring sedation or anesthesia.”
And then came three words one imagines Dr. Gupta wasn’t particularly enamored of, at least when it comes to future story opportunities: “While the reports and recommendations are being finalized, I am happy to announce the President of the United States is in very good health and anticipate he will remain so for the duration of his presidency, and beyond,” he concluded.
NEW: POTUS doctor writes in letter that Trump is in “very good health” pic.twitter.com/YexOVHsE0q
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) February 8, 2019
Of course, there are no final numbers yet, but I doubt Conley would be issuing this statement only for us to discover that Trump’s liver panel numbers were through the roof and his heart had transmogrified itself into a Big Mac.
Now, to be fair, a fair portion of the alarmist coverage of Trump’s health seems to come from CNN Center (another representative article from earlier this week: “Ahead of annual physical, Trump has not followed doctor’s orders,” which speculated on Trump’s diet and exercise habits).
However, they’re far from the only ones engaging in this kind of speculation, and far from the worst. Take Hill Reporter, the media organ of witless liberal Twitter trolls and/or conspiracy theorists Brian and Ed Krassenstein. In a podcast interview late last month, they talked with a doctor who said that Trump was “in a state of pre-dementia” and suffering from a condition which also affected genocidal dictators.
“Dr. John Gartner is a specialist in borderline personality disorder, bipolar (sic) disorder, and depression, and during his interview he focused mainly on his belief that President Trump is suffering from a condition called malignant narcissism,” the article read. “In doing so, he compared Trump’s mental state to that of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.”
So we’re clearly dealing with a balanced, disinterested party here in the person of Dr. Gartner.
“He’s also losing his cognitive capacities,” Gartner said in the interview. “I think that he is in a state of what we call pre-dementia.”
“If you compare (Trump’s) verbal productions to the way he used to speak in the 80s, he still was kind of a jerk, but he spoke in polished paragraphs,” Gartner said. “Now he can’t even complete a sentence. He has a lot of trouble with word-finding. He even makes up words. He has trouble completing a sentence without veering off into an irrelevancy. All of this is a sign of cognitive decline.”
Keep in mind this man is talking to the Krassensteins, two men who cannot seem to communicate thoughts on social media unless those thoughts are in ALL CAPS and presented WITHOUT SUPPORTING EVIDENCE. Also, Dr. Gartner apparently either hasn’t heard of the Goldwater Rule or just thinks that temporal fame trumps (pun unintended) following the ethical rules set out by the American Psychiatric Association.
The Krassensteins may be on the fringes of acceptable media company, but this is indicative of the double standard at play here. Whenever anyone raised questions about Hillary Clinton’s health during the 2016 campaign, they were branded a conspiracy theorist. Perhaps some of those claims went too far, but we’re seeing the same process repeat itself in 2018 and 2019 with Trump’s physicals. Doctors pronounce him healthy, but everyone else seems to know he’s really a heart attack waiting to happen — and a Stalin-esque, pre-demential one at that.
Only this time, there’s no backlash. One need not wonder why.
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