Alzheimer’s disease is no laughing matter. Many people, including me, have watched the disease suck the life out of family members or loved ones. The last thing we need is to accuse public figures of having Alzheimer’s when they don’t truly show the symptoms of it, simply because we don’t like or respect them. But Donald Trump does show many symptoms of the disease – which is why we have to talk about what he just tweeted today while referring to his own mental condition.
Trump first made the reference yesterday, though it was more of a passing glance, when he tweeted “the Fake News Mainstream Media are taking out the old Ronald Reagan playbook and screaming mental stability and intelligence.” At the time it seemed perhaps unintentional on his part that he had just tried to make the case for his own mental competence by referencing the one U.S. President who is known to have had Alzheimer’s while in office. But then came his second tweet about Reagan and mental competence today, and this one is more direct.
Today Trump tweeted “I’ve had to put up with the Fake News from the first day I announced that I would be running for President. Now I have to put up with a Fake Book, written by a totally discredited author. Ronald Reagan had the same problem and handled it well. So will I!” Look at what he’s saying here. Now he’s specifically acknowledging that he has the same “problem” as Reagan, before going on to say that he’ll handle his “problem” well. Did he just slip up and admit that he’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s? Is he vowing to somehow overcome it?
Donald Trump’s tweets are increasingly so semi-coherent, they can be interpreted in more than one way. But I’ve spent hours reading and re-reading this tweet, and each time I lean a bit more toward believing that he’s been privately informed that he has Alzheimer’s disease, and he’s publicly vowing to work through it like Reagan did. Of course Reagan wasn’t afflicted until late in his tenure. Trump hasn’t even made it a year. He’s consistently refused to release any medical records. It was just reported today that his daily White House schedule is basically empty. We need answers, and we need them right this minute.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report