President Trump has had a rough week fighting against the scandalous revelations in Michael Wolff’s bombshell new book, “Fire and Fury – Inside the Trump White House.” One of themes woven through the many anecdotes about the president’s tumultuous first year in office is his lack of mental fitness for the job.
While he’s tried tweeting and sending his surrogates out into the media to push back against the embarrassing disclosures in the book, it’s proven comically ineffective. Most Americans won’t begin to consider their president is all there mentally – or physically, or that matter – until medical professionals tell us otherwise.
So that’s exactly who the President is finally going to meet with as he prepares for his first physical examination as commander in chief next week. While the White House announced the date of the exam last month, it couldn’t have come at a better time for the embattled president – or a worse time, depending on what doctors find.
While not the kind of definitive psychiatric evaluation that would put questions about his mental fitness to rest, the examination will, “will last around two hours and include blood and urine tests, heart checks, and even questions about his sleeping habits and sex life,” The Telegraph reports, citing medical experts.
Crucially, the exam will be carried out by Rear Admiral Ronny L. Jackson, the official Physician to the President appointed by President Obama in 2013, and NOT his personal doctor who released a dubious statement about Trump’s health during the campaign. The brief note from Dr. Harold N Bornstein claimed that Trump would be, “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” and it was widely ridiculed and discredited when NBC revealed that he wrote his ‘assessment’ hastily while Trump waited in his limo.
America will be eager to get any insight into the president’s health after a week that, at the very least, has called it into serious question.
Michael Wolff quotes White House official after White House official questioning Trump’s ability to grasp simple policy concepts and wondering aloud if he was capable of performing very basic tasks the presidency demands. Many even questioned his memory after noticing that he repeats himself in meetings, appearing to forget things he just said minutes prior.
The underlying challenges to President Trump’s mental state Michael Wolff’s makes aren’t new. Psychiatrists and other experts have written extensively since the campaign about the many signs that show Trump may be suffering cognitive degeneration, and worse. Lawmakers are so concerned about a 25th amendment crisis that more than a dozen members of congress met with a Yale psychiatry professor in December of 2017, who told them she feared Trump was “going to unravel.”
“We feel that the rush of tweeting is an indication of his falling apart under stress. Trump is going to get worse and will become uncontainable with the pressures of the presidency,” Dr. Bandy X. Lee told Politico last week.
It’s unclear if the White House will release the results of his physical examination. The president is entitled to medical privacy just like the rest of us. That said, then-Senator Obama released a detailed health assessment from his doctor during the 2008 campaign, with blood pressure and cholesterol levels among the details listed. As president, he released Dr. Jackson’s thorough findings of his physical exam in 2016.
If the results in anyway counter the developing narrative that the president isn’t mentally fit for office, then we would expect the White House to release them verbatim. If they don’t – or worse: if they confirm that narrative – then we would bet good money that the results of that exam will never see the light of day.