In December 2015, Donald Trump released a letter signed by Dr. Harold Bornstein that used a letterhead listing the name of his deceased father, Dr. Jacob Bornstein, as reported by Legacy. At the time, Donald Trump was quoted by the Verge as referring to the deceased Jacob Bornstein by name several times.
Donald Trump’s December-2015 medical letter is being brought back into the light after the Republican nominee has called on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to release her full medical records and suggested that she does not possess the “physical stamina” to serve as president, as reported by CNN.
“I am proud to share this health report, written by the highly respected Dr. Jacob Bornstein,” the Verge quoted Trump from a now-deleted tweet in late 2015. A deleted Facebook post was also reported to refer to the late Jacob Bornstein.
“Now I know what you’re thinking at home.” Daily Show host Trevor Noah stated to viewers in a video hosted with Facebook after reviewing the letter purported to be written by Harold Bornstein. “Clearly, Donald Trump wrote that letter himself.”
“It certainly reads like a letter written by someone with close to no knowledge of Dr. Bornstein’s practice,” Dr. Jennifer Gunter with the Huffington Post wrote in response to the notion that Trump may have written the letter himself.
Dr. Gunter and others have noted that in addition to listing the name of the deceased Jacob Bornstein, the letterhead includes a non-functioning website and that its salutation contains a typo, something she stressed that she would be sure to avoid if drafting a letter certifying the health of a presidential candidate. Gunter also noted that few doctors would provide patients with an un-secure Gmail address as part of their contact information.
The letter is described as being filled with medical “gibberish” including seemingly nonclinical adjectives, such as “astonishing” and “only positive.”
Many observers have commented that the Bornstein letter’s assertion that Donald Trump would be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” seems ridiculous. Dr. Gunter appeared to become exasperated with the suggestion.
“Dr. Bornstein is not a medical historian who runs a presidential health archive and, obviously, Washington and Lincoln never had their PSA checked for comparison. The first blood pressure cuff was invented in 1881, so yeah.”
Gunter also noted that while results reported for Trump were consistent with what would be expected for a healthy 70-year-old man, they were hardly “extraordinary” or “astonishing.”
Dr. Gunter expressed concern that Dr. Bornstein was not a general practitioner, but a gastroenterologist. The doctor wrote that a healthy person under the age of 50 would not require the services of a gastroenterologist. She allowed that some gastroenterologists may begin their careers dividing their time between the specialty and general practice and that this may be how Donald Trump came to have been their patient since 1980.
“We want to know what kind of physical health our commander in chief is in,” Trump PAC founder Amy Kremer stated on CNN with regard to Hillary Clinton’s health.
Kurt Eichenwald, a Newsweek writer, explained that Fox News‘ Sean Hannity and other right-wing commentators’ “Trump garbage approach” is an attempt to create worry among voters over health problems with Clinton that do not exist.
“This is not a real letter,” Eichenwald stated with regard to the Bornstein-Trump letter. He found the fact that the letter listed Trump as undergoing medical tests that returned “positive” results, generally interpreted as meaning that the presidential candidate was suffering from an affliction, puzzling. The Newsweek columnist felt that this was not a mistake that a competent medical doctor would make.
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