By ADMIR DURAKOVIC
Since the release of Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury,” questions have been raised about President Trump’s mental and physical capacity to hold his position in office.
In an attempt to quell rumors and concerns over his health, Trump had his first medical checkup since taking office.
On Jan. 12, Doctor Ronny L. Jackson conducted his medical examination on Trump at the Walter Reed National Medical Center with White House according to the official White House Report.
Trump was incredibly reserved over the details of his personal health during his campaign, only making vague remarks on his strength and stamina. Trump’s personal doctor, Dr. Harold Jackson, said, “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” in a statement released by Trump’s campaign in 2015.
Trump consistently attacked his political opponents during his presidential campaign. He accused Hillary Clinton of lacking strength and stamina, and gave Jeb Bush the nickname “low energy Jeb.”
Since taking office, Trump has not been the model of physical health he promised during his campaign and became notorious for his constant vacations during the first year of his term. By August 2017, Trump “spent all or part of 53 days in office at leisure, compared with 15 days for Obama through August 2009,” according to The Washington Post.
A president should not have to be in prime physical condition, or work overtime every week. However, one should expect more from a man who claimed to be in better shape than what his work ethic currently implies about his health.
The official White House report by Dr. Jackson listed Trump’s vitals and the various medications he takes on a regular basis.
FDU Fitness Center Director Scott Fisher said Trump’s report was lacking.
“It wasn’t incredibly detailed, they weren’t showing you his lab results; they were providing some lab results but not telling you if they were within normal limits,” Fisher said. “While there were some things in his medical work up that looked okay, it was interesting to me, with my background in exercise physiology, it looks like they performed an echocardiogram stress test. They claimed he was in very good physical condition, but they didn’t provide any statistics to really validate that, so I think that’s questionable.”
The official White House report also left out Trump’s body mass index (BMI), a unit of measurement considered important to determine someone’s overall health.
“I didn’t find it, but I calculated it based on what I saw there,” Fisher said. “I calculated him at 29.9 (BMI). Anything between 25-29.9, is considered overweight. But he is at the very cusp of obesity or what we consider class 1 obesity. That’s obviously a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and a number of other things.”
Trump is not the model of perfect health that his personal doctor predicted he would be in 2015. The results from the official White House report show Trump has hypercholesterolemia.
“He’s got high blood cholesterol,” Fisher said. “His HDL (high density lipoprotein), his good cholesterol level, is reasonably high, so his ratio of total cholesterol to HDL is reasonable, but it’s not great he’s got a total cholesterol level of above 200. So is he the fattest president we’ve ever had? Absolutely not.”
Many young children look up to the president as someone they aspire to be. It’s unacceptable to have our youth see the president with such a poor personal diet and exercise routine when one of the problems plaguing our society in recent years has been obesity.
“I don’t necessarily think we should hold a president to a certain standard with respect to fitness or nutrition or health per se,” Fisher said. “We’ve had wonderful presidents who have had health issues, look at FDR. But at the same time, with my background and profession, I thinks it admirable when a president can be a role model and promote the benefits of healthy diet and exercise. It’s nice when our presidents are also good role models for health, but most of all I think we want them to be good role models as presidents and politicians.”