It’s time to Break It Down!
You Just Can’t Make Up This Stuff. Oh Wait! You Can, and Apparently, “Someone” (Guess Who) Did.
Yesterday, Mr. Trump’s former personal physician, Dr. Harold Bornstein said of the hyperbolically prosy letter (using language sounding incredibly similar to that routinely used by his patient) that he purportedly wrote in 2015 describing then candidate Trump’s health, patient Trump actually authored it. In Dr. Bornstein’s words, speaking of Trump:
“He dictated that whole letter. I didn’t write that letter. I just made it up as I went along.”
He added that Trump told him what he wanted the letter to say, and he responded with what he couldn’t say. The admission is an about face from his answer to the question of who wrote the letter, more than two years ago, when it came to light. At that time, the very un-doctor like terminology he used to characterize Mr. Trump’s medical fitness led many people to question whether he had written the summary. The two things that stood out most when reviewing the letter were the degree to which the way the letter was framed deviated from the usage of standard medical jargon and parlance, and the extend to which the writing style paralleled the way Donald Trump expresses himself.
In August 2016, James Hamblin, M.D., wrote a story in The Atlantic entitled, “The Bizarre Words of Donald Trump’s Doctor.” Take a gander below at the letter at the center of the newly revived controversy.
JACOB BORNSTEIN, M.D.
HAROLD N. BORNSTEIN, M.D., P.C.
101 EAST 78th STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10075-0301
TELE: (212) 988-6600 FAX: (212) 988-6602
December 4, 2015
To Whom My Concern:
I have been the personal physician of Mr. Donald J. Trump since 1980. His previous physician was my father, Dr. Jacob Bornstein. Over the past 39 years, I am pleased to report that Mr. Trump has had no significant medical problems. Mr. Trump has had a recent complete medical examination that showed only positive results. Actually, his blood pressure, 110/65, and laboratory test results were astonishingly excellent.
Over the past twelve months, he has lost at least fifteen pounds. Mr. Trump takes 81 mg of aspirin daily and a low dose of statin. His PSA test score is 0.15 (very low). His physical strength and stamina are extraordinary.
Mr. Trump has suffered no form of cancer, has never had a hip, knee, or shoulder replacement or any other orthopedic surgery. His only surgery was an appendectomy at age ten. His cardiovascular status is excellent. He has no history of ever using alcohol or tobacco products.
If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.
Harold N. Bornstein, M.D., F.A.C.G.
Department of Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology
Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, NY
In Hamblin’s Atlantic article, he noted that the letter had, after more than two years, thrust the eccentric Bornstein, with his shoulder length hair and John Lennon styled spectacles, smack dab in the middle of undesired limelight. Among other things, the letter stated unswervingly that Trump would be the healthiest individual ever elected President. This assertion was leveled despite the clear recognition that Trump, if elected, would be the oldest individual ever elected President, sleeps little, holds angry grudges, and is said to eat KFC and slabs of red meat. The claim of superlative health quite simply rang hollow.
Hamblin, noted the doctor could have taken the opportunity at that time to bow out. In what we can now dub an act of precognition, he said Bornstein could have said Trump dictated the letter, and he only signed it. He could have said Trump suggested at least some of the phrases…because it was not just the medical facts, but also the linguistic styling that was amiss. Keen-eyed readers with a mind (to do so) might have seen the handiwork of Trump, particularly in the adjectival phrases, such as: “his strength and physical stamina are extraordinary,” and “his laboratory test results are astonishingly excellent.” For extra emphasis, there was an instance of the Trumpian tendency of starting a sentence with “actually,” to build onto (as opposed to contradict) the previous sentence: “Mr. Trump has had a complete medical examination that showed only positive results. Actually, his blood pressure and lab results were astonishingly excellent.”
Instead of taking an “exit, stage left” posture, Dr. Bornstein stuck to his guns. He didn’t just claim the letter as his own, he injected that he rather liked the line about Mr. Trump being the healthiest person ever elected President.
In a CliffNotes sort of review, it’s worth noting that doctors typically describe lab results of the good variety as “normal,” or “within normal limits.” If a case warranted qualitative assessment, “reassuring,” or “encouraging,” would be considerably more likely than the boastful “excellent.” Moreover, even should excellent ever be deemed the qualifier of choice, it would never need the expansive effects of an adverb such as “astonishingly.”
Dr. Hamblin concluded in his August 2016 Atlantic Article, based on the array of overt clues, that it was unlikely Dr. Bornstein had written the letter. He continued:
“So for linguistic reasons alone, it would shock me if Bornstein wrote this letter. Add to that the other bizarre elements, and it was jarring to hear him stand by it last week, laughing in the process. In video footage that appears to have been taken covertly, Bernstein also admitted that he “wrote the letter in five minutes” while a car was idling outside waiting for him. This is a critical fact: It means that he cowed to the demands of his patient. (Trump had tweeted two days prior, “I have instructed my long-time doctor to issue, within two weeks, a full medical report—it will show perfection.)”
Bornstein’s revelations didn’t end with Trump’s dictation of “the letter.” He also said Trump’s bodyguard, accompanied by a Trump lawyer, and a third man visited his Park Avenue office and confiscated Trump’s medical files. Dr. Bornstein said the visit, which he termed a raid, took place February 3, 2017, two days after the New York Times (NYT) quoted him as saying he prescribed Trump a hair growth medicine for years. In describing the event, Bornstein said:
“They must have been here for 25 or 30 minutes. It created a lot of chaos.” He added that the incident made him feel “raped, frightened, and sad.” Hmm, I might call that a tad overly dramatic…but then, I wasn’t there.
Bornstein recognized two of the men; Trump personal bodyguard Keith Schiller, who until last September worked at the White House as operations director, and Alan Garten, a lawyer from the Trump Organization family Real Estate firm. An unidentified man also accompanied them. The doctor said the original and only copy of Trump’s charts and lab reports under the President’s names and various pseudonyms (don’t ask) were taken.
When asked about the incident, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders played it down. She responded:
“It would be standard procedure for the president, a newly collected president’s medical records to be in possession by the White House Medical Unit and that was what was taking place.”
Mrs. Sanders insisted that what happened was not a raid. Of course it wasn’t. Wink, wink.
Bornstein told NBC News that he couldn’t believe anybody was making such a big deal out of a drug to grow his hair. He said, “It was certainly not a breach of medical trust to tell somebody they use Propecia to grow their hair.”
The Dr. said Trump dropped him after the NYT article appeared. NBC reported that Bornstein, who is 70, had been Trump’s personal doctor for more than 35 years.
In closing, I’d like to say, as I did at the outset, you just can’t make up this stuff. Alas, everyday we are reminded, anew, that that simply isn’t so. First, we are immersed in the Dr. Admiral Ronny Jackson story, now, a made for TV drama about his decades long personal physician. I’m not sure whether these stories when taken together say more about Trump’s vanity and attempts to control the narrative of the physicians who treat him, or the ambitions of those docs. In any event, just remember, hang in there; like Friday, tomorrow is coming. Only sooner. There is sure to be another misadventure soon enough. It happens all the time. With that said, here we are again, totally made up…”Astonishingly Excellent Lab Results: In His Own Words!”
I’m done; holla back!
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