Skip to navigationSkip to content

A letter from Trump’s doctor: If elected, Trump “will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency”

Reuters/Christopher Aluka Berry
No one can gracefully go head-to-head with flagrant exaggerations and outright lies.
  • Jake Flanagin
By Jake Flanagin


Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Donald Trump’s heath is “astonishingly excellent,” according to Harold Bornstein, MD, has been “the personal physician of Mr. Donald J. Trump since 1980.”

In a letter from the good doctor dated Dec. 4, but released today, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is not only purported to have “no significant medical problems,” but, “unequivocally will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

This is only the latest in a series of absurd pronouncements made by the notoriously brash and direct real estate mogul and reality television star. Though, these moments of rhetorical outrageousness are exactly what seem to keep supporters at his side. (Despite a massive, recent surge in support for junior Texas senator Ted Cruz in Iowa, Trump’s numbers have remained generally steady.)

But “telling it like it is,” (or “isn’t,” depending on who you ask) isn’t solely a strategy for enticing voters with a flare for drama—it’s actually a pretty shrewd campaign strategy. Yes, Trump makes outrageous, superficially exaggerated or false statements almost as often as he exhales. But they’re not easily disproved, at least gracefully. It’s not as if anyone could perform a health and fitness survey of every president since Washington. In any case, rivals are hoping that Trump’s arrogance and almost perpetually boorish personality will eventually alienate his supporters into their own camps. So, they have little political incentive to stoop to his level, hoping he’ll implode without any of them having to get caught pressing the button.

Can you imagine a Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton unveiling the results of a months-long fact-finding mission into Trump’s library of half-truths, exaggerations, or outright lies? Their campaigns know that would do them more harm than good. The type of person who tends to believe Trump’s proclamations also tends to be immune to reason. For an establishment candidate, getting down in the muck with Trump is not a good look—particularly if your entire campaign strategy (for more centrist Republicans) hinges on framing yourself as the anti-Trump. The anti-wacko. The–for better or worse–anti-“telling it like it is” candidate.

📬 A periodic dispatch from the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in NYC.

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.