Lost in the blizzard of Trump transgressions is yet another shattered norm — the apparent failure of Trump to undergo the annual presidential physical (or the apparent failure of any major press outlet to report on the annual physical).
Now, to be clear, an annual physical examination is not required by law. However, it had become customary for presidents to undergo an annual physical examination, and to report to the public the results of that examination. When Democrats were president, this sometimes led to reports of health issues, like President Clinton’s weight issues and President Obama’s cigarette smoking. Yet these presidents dutifully reported for their physicals and dutifully reported the results of these examinations to the press for public dissemination.
Most people are aware of Trump’s physical examination last year. Performed by Dr. Ronny Jackson, who Trump subsequently attempted to appoint as head of the VA, the results were . . . somewhat dubious. To put it charitably, photographic evidence seemed to contradict some basic measurements like height and weight.
Over the past year, Trump has acted in an increasingly erratic manner, and his physical appearance has deteriorated. These are observable facts, not opinions — one need only look at the dramatic and documented increase in the number of demonstrable lies Trump has told to establish the former, and one need only look at a photo or video of him to establish the latter. This would tend to indicate that the need for a comprehensive physical examination is greater than ever.
Corporate America requires executives to undertake all manner of physical and psychiatric examinations because those organizations have a vested interest in having leaders who are both physically and mentally sound. In the past, it has been no different for the United State of America — we the people have a vested interest in having a chief executive who is both physically and mentally sound. Further, we have a right to know our chief executive’s health, as our government is supposed to be transparent and open to us as citizens.
While one might suspect that this year’s physical examination would be pointless, and will just engender another “Trumped Up” report about the president’s remarkably perfect health, Trump should not be let off the hook on this. The American people, Congress, and the press should all clamor for Trump to not only undertake his annual physical examination but should also clamor for the public release of the results.
At the very least, this will result in yet another example of Trump blatantly lying to the American people, as he did last January with his examination results. There is, however, a new White House physician — Dr. Sean Conley. As a decorated Naval physician who saw combat in Afghanistan and won a commendation for saving the life of Romanian soldier injured by an IED in 2014, perhaps Dr. Conley will perform the examination and report the results with less apparent mendacity than Dr. Jackson.