Donald Trump took a physical on Friday. Then the White House almost immediately released a statement, purporting to be from the military doctor who performed the physical, which claimed that Trump was in “excellent health.” That’s obviously not the case. The statement spelled the doctor’s name wrong, making clear that he didn’t even write it. This whole thing was a farce. Yet today the doctor in question held a press conference, and now we know that Trump’s fake physical was even more fake than we thought.
The military doctor immediately cast doubt on everything else he was about to say when he claimed that Trump is 6’3″ and weighs 239 pounds. It’s easy to find fairly recent photos of Trump standing fully upright next to Jeb Bush (6’3″) and President Obama (6’1″) which suggest that Trump is probably just a hair over 6’0″. But even if there is a legitimate explanation for how the doctor came up with 6’3″ instead, there is no possible legitimate explanation for how he came up with Trump’s weight.
Being heavy-set doesn’t automatically mean you’re unhealthy, and being thinner doesn’t automatically mean you’re healthy, so Trump’s weight should probably be the least of any American’s concerns – except for the fact that his doctor is clearly and severely misrepresenting that weight. All you have to do is look at Trump’s height and size to see that he’s far heavier than is being claimed here. If you don’t want to simply trust your own eyes, numerous people have weighed in on social media to point out that they’re just over six feet tall and that they weigh something in the neighborhood of Trump’s claimed 239 pounds, yet they’re visibly much less heavy-set than Trump is.
Why would a military doctor, who holds the rank of Admiral no less, be willing to make severely inaccurate claims about Donald Trump’s weight? Is he afraid of defying his Commander in Chief? Regardless of the reason, if the doctor is willing to make one wildly false claim about Trump’s healthy, it means nothing else he says about Trump’s health can be taken at face value.
So when this doctor claimed today that he gave Donald Trump a neurological examination, perhaps he really did give Trump the overly simplistic “Can you recognize a camel when you see a picture of one” test that some observers have pointed to on the Dementia Services Information and Development Center website (link). No one has suggested that Trump is too far gone cognitively to recognize a camel; only that he’s too far gone to be able to function as President of the United States. By the time Trump’s doctor made the absurd claim that Trump “takes Ambien on occasion as we all do,” his credibility was already fully gone.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report