All through Trump’s marketing campaign for president and the 4 years within the White Home, he and people closest to him repeatedly sought to obfuscate about his general well being — setting new lows within the requirements of transparency for our chief govt within the course of.

Do not forget that the extent of Trump’s medical historical past that we had been aware of throughout the 2016 marketing campaign was a single handwritten observe by his longtime physician, Harold Bornstein, that included this now-infamous line: “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, would be the healthiest particular person ever elected to the presidency.” (We discovered three years later that, in line with Bornstein, Trump dictated that letter to him after which pressured him to signal it.)
Throughout his time within the White Home, Trump by no means absolutely defined his shock go to to Walter Reed hospital within the fall of 2019. Whereas aides on the time stated it was merely to get a bounce on his annual bodily, we later discovered that Vice President Mike Pence was put on alert that he may have to assume the duties of president if Trump needed to be anesthetized. Which is, uh, not what occurs in a traditional bodily.

When Trump examined optimistic for Covid-19 in October 2020, it was nearly unimaginable to get a straight reply about his situation out of anybody within the White Home — together with White Home doctor Sean Conley.

Conley repeatedly gave rosy assessments of Trump’s well being whereas battling the illness, conveniently parsing phrases to keep away from acknowledging what we now know (and lengthy suspected): This was a really severe well being disaster for Trump.

When Conley was criticized for his nothing-to-see-here-folks! strategy to the President’s well being, he responded this way:

“I used to be making an attempt to replicate the upbeat angle that the workforce, the President in his course of sickness has had. I did not need to give any data which may steer the course of sickness in one other course, and in doing so it got here off that we’re making an attempt to cover one thing.”

Which tells you the whole lot it is advisable to learn about Conley — and the strategy to Trump’s well being he and the White Home workforce took. What distinction does the need to “replicate the upbeat angle of the workforce [and] the president,” have on Trump’s situation? And why would Conley offering correct details about Trump’s situation “steer the course of sickness in one other course”? Brief reply: It would not.

That Trump’s situation was much more dire than we knew, then, is not shocking. A scarcity of transparency — and Trump’s want to all the time be perceived as robust and, uh, manly — was a function, not a glitch, of the Trump White Home.

However we should always all be appalled that we got a lot deceptive details about the situation of the President of the US as he battled a virus that not solely had he downplayed at each flip however that has additionally now killed more than 475,000 Americans.

Understanding the total image of a President’s well being — whether or not that President is Trump or Joe Biden or whoever comes after Biden — is a public proper. Being purposely misinformed or given very restricted data for public relations causes shouldn’t be excused. Or repeated.

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