(AP/Carolyn Kaster)

Not just "girthers": Doctors question Trump's health report

"We’re talking about a 70-plus-year-old man who is obese and doesn’t exercise"


Charlie May
January 18, 2018 5:40PM (UTC)

The White House claimed President Donald Trump to be in "excellent" health on Wednesday following the results of his physical exam, but heart doctors outside of the White House have expressed concern over the president's cholesterol level and his increased susceptibility to having a heart attack.

Even though people were quick to cast doubts on some of the reports — Trump was reportedly listed as 6 foot 3, and his weight put him just one pound shy of the obese mark — no one immediately cast doubt on the diagnosis of Trump's doctor, Ronny Jackson, a longtime White House physician. But before long, Jackson's remarks that Trump was in good health were questioned.

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Dr. David Maron, the director of preventive cardiology at Stanford University's medical school, said he was seriously concerned with Trump's LDL cholesterol levels, which were above 140. The recommended levels are 100 or less, and Maron said he was "definitely" worried about the risk of the president having a heart attack, The New York Times reported.

Maybe some fault should go to Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who put words in Jackson's mouth Tuesday by saying, "We support what he said yesterday 100 percent — that the president is in excellent health."

Asked by the Times about Trump's so-called excellent health, Maron offered his opinion: "God, no."

Other cardiologists joined in on Maron's assessment and defended his concerns, despite the White House's unwillingness to accept other opinions. The news comes at a time when there have also been questions raised about Trump's mental fitness, as the Salon video noted below.

"That’s a really high LDL," Dr. Eric Topol of the Scripps Research Institute said, the Times reported. "We’re talking about a 70-plus-year-old man who is obese and doesn’t exercise. Just looking at the lab value, you would raise a big red flag."

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He added, "I would never use the words 'excellent health.' How you could take these indices and say excellent health? That is completely contradicted."

Trump himself, however, said he does exercise plenty and therefore has nothing to worry about. Although, details were scarce.

"I get exercise. I mean I walk, I this, I that," Trump told Reuters in an Oval Office interview. "I run over to a building next door. I get more exercise than people think."

Trump, who can hardly ever turn down a fast-food meal, continued, "A lot of people go to the gym and they’ll work out for two hours and all. I’ve seen people . . . then they get their new knees when they’re 55 years old and they get their new hips and they do all those things. I don’t have those problems."

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There are certainly legitimate reasons to draw questions about Trump's health and how it's been marketed as "excellent" by the White House, considering the White House's track record of misleading the public on a number of issues ranging from chain migration to inauguration crowd size.


Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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