Donald Trump has unexpectedly gone to Walter Reed hospital. The White House is claiming that it’s because Trump suddenly decided to have portions of his annual physical done. For too many obvious reasons to count, this doesn’t even come close to adding up – but what’s really going on?
Trump isn’t supposed to have his annual physical until February; it’s still November. The notion that he’s having his “annual” physical done three months early is so absurd that it pretty much disqualifies it from even being an annual physical; what if his health situation changed between now an February? Moreover, nothing of the sort was on Donald Trump’s official schedule today. That leaves a couple possibilities.
One obvious possibility is that Trump is having a sudden health problem, and he’s using the notion of an early physical as cover. This is certainly plausible. But beyond the fact that he’s a morbidly obese man in his seventies with extremely poor eating and exercise habits, there’s no specific reason to presume that he’s having a health emergency today.
Another possibility is that because the news is so bad for Trump right now, he’s having the physical done as an attempt at a distraction, so he can force his military doctor to announce on Monday that he’s in perfect health. But if this is the case then it’s a rather shortsighted stunt, as it’s causing a lot of people to presume that there is something wrong with his health, and at this point everyone just laughs at him whenever his doctor announces he’s in perfect health.
There is also another possibility. Donald Trump’s presidency is on incredibly shaky ground. He’s being impeached. Witnesses are coming out of the woodwork. His poll numbers are horrible enough that he has to worry about trying to convince Senate Republicans not to remove him before 2020, let alone worrying about his election odds in 2020. He’s also facing a lengthy prison sentence once he’s gone from office. If Trump is planning to “declare bankruptcy” on his presidency by negotiating a resignation plea deal in exchange for leniency, he could be manufacturing a health issue as an excuse for why he’s resigning. This would be a pretty far-out-there theory, but at this point everything Trump does is pretty far out there.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report