Whether it was a calculated attempt to create interest in his appearance on the popular Dr. Oz television show, or that the right hand of the Trump campaign doesn’t know what the left hand is doing, the Republican presidential nominee created confusion Wednesday morning about how much information he planned to release about his health.
Trump said on Monday that he would be releasing the results of a recent physical examination in an appearance on the show hosted by television personality and surgeon Mehmet Oz. But on Tuesday, his campaign manager began complaining about the level of scrutiny the candidate's health was receiving and insisted that demanding Trump release health records violates his privacy.
On Wednesday morning, Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks told reporters that rather than discussing his personal health on the show, the candidate would instead discuss “wellness” in general and other vague topics.
Then, at the 10 a.m. taping of the program, Trump “surprised” the audience by asking them whether or not he should reveal the results of his physical.
“Should I do it? I don’t care. Should I do it?” he said. Then, to cheers from the crowd, he produced two pieces of paper from inside his suit jacket.
“It’s two letters. One is the report, and the other is from Lenox Hill Hospital,” he said, as evidenced by a brief clip released by the show’s production company.
According to a release from the show’s producers, “Mr. Trump shared with Dr. Oz the results of his physical examination performed last week by Dr. Harold Bornstein, M.D. of Lenox Hill Hospital, whom [sic] has been Mr. Trump’s personal physician for many years.
“Additionally, as all physicians do when seeing a patient for the first time, Dr. Oz took Mr. Trump through a full review of systems including the following: Nervous System, Head and Neck, Hormone Levels, Cardiovascular Health and Related Medications, Respiratory Health, Gastrointestinal Health, Bladder or Prostate Health, Dermalogical [sic] Health, History of Cancer, Family Medical History – Occurrence of Alzheimer’s or Dementia, Heart Disease, Cancer in relatives.”
Because the show will not air until Thursday, there were few details available about the content of the test results or the findings of either Dr. Bornstein or Dr. Oz. Dr. Bornstein previously made headlines in the presidential campaign when he penned laughably hyperbolic letter praising Trump’s “astonishingly excellent” health and promising he would be the healthiest person ever elected president.
Reporters who quizzed members of the studio audience were provided sketchy and sometimes contradictory accounts of the proceedings, suggesting that a full accounting won’t be available until the show airs tomorrow.
Trump, who has been actively sowing doubt and confusion about the health of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for months now is under increasing pressure to reveal information about his own health. At 70, Trump would be the oldest person ever elected to a first presidential term. He is plainly overweight and has a well-documented taste for unhealthy fast food. He also has no known exercise regimen.
After Clinton collapsed over the weekend due to what her campaign eventually said was dehydration caused by a bout of pneumonia, the health of the two candidates took on new urgency as a campaign issue. Clinton, though younger than Trump, will turn 69 this fall, and would be the second-oldest person elected to a first presidential term, after only Ronald Reagan.