The Corner

White House

Ramping Down the Speculation about the President’s Physical Health

In the New York Times, Maggie Haberman writes, “President Trump faced new questions about his health on Sunday, after videos emerged of him gingerly walking down a ramp at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and having trouble bringing a glass of water to his mouth during a speech there.” Haberman notes the president’s abrupt visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in November and the sparse details of the his most recent physical.

Trump jumped onto Twitter to insist, “the ramp that I descended after my West Point Commencement speech was very long & steep, had no handrail and, most importantly, was very slippery. The last thing I was going to do is “fall” for the Fake News to have fun with. Final ten feet I ran down to level ground. Momentum!”

Whatever one thinks of Trump’s steps down the ramp or handling of the water glass, it is worth keeping in mind that this is a White House that leaks like a sieve. In addition to the nearly daily revelations in newspapers and magazines driven by leaks from White House staffers, we’ve seen tell-all books by Trump staffers Cliff Sims, Omarosa Manigault Newman, “Anonymous,” and soon, John Bolton. We’ve seen extensive looks at the Trump administration from Bob Woodward, Michael Lewis, the two infamous books by Michael Wolff, Ronald Kessler*, and our old friend Tim Alberta, all quoting inside sources who had no problem sharing anecdotes that are unflattering to the president.

If the president has a serious health problem, how long do you think this crew could keep that a secret?  Are we to believe that in a White House where seemingly everything else leaks, this administration has managed to cover up some serious physical ailment that is affecting the president?

Is it possible that the president has some sort of serious health impairment that intermittently manifests in the form of visible difficulty walking on stairs or an incline or handling objects, and that not a single person who is aware of this or witnessed this has leaked it to anyone in the press? Sure. Is it likely? No.

Then again . . . side effects of hydroxychloroquine can include a spinning sensation, muscle weakness, uncontrolled movement, loss of balance or coordination, and unusual thoughts or behavior.

*Kessler complains he doesn’t belong on this list because his book praises the president and declares “he will be seen as one of the greatest presidents.” The point is that Kessler, like the other authors, talked to sources in the White House for his book for months and did not run across any account or source suggesting the president has secret health problems.


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