Diary

If Trump Could Corrupt One Physician...

Jim Jaminitis well summarized the story of Dr. Bornstein, who asserted that Trump operatives raided his office and took all of Trump’s medical records, and then said that the bill of health he gave Trump came from Trump himself. As expected, here is Trump’s tweet in response.

Actually, Trump hasn’t tweeted (yet) on the subject. Whom to believe, a president who peels off lies and misleading statements at a clip of 6.5 per day, or an eccentric MD who exhibited spotty ethics once (maybe twice) with Trump. For me, I’ll go with the latter. As to why Dr. Bornstein was willing to breach his ethical duties and say “yes” to letting Trump transcribe his own bill of health, maybe it was this.

Bornstein, who once had told Trump’s personal secretary Rhona Graff he hoped to be the White House physician, said this week that his comments to the Times in February squashed that possibility. “So you wanted to be the White House doctor? Forget it, you’re out,” Graff told Bornstein after the records were taken from his office, the doctor told NBC News.

The bottom line is that Trump sought to corrupt Dr. Bornstein, and the MD let Trump do it. I’m sure that, in the wake of his exile from the Trump orbit, Dr. Bornstein must’ve felt like a fired Redstate writer. But this makes me wonder about something else. If Trump was willing to corrupt his own personal physician, why not the White House physician? Could there have been a conversation along the lines of this?

Trump: Hey, Ronny! I need a minute. Our VA guy, what’s his name, Shulkin? He’s pushing back on my plan to privatize the treatment of our veterans, and I wanna make a change.

Jackson: Yes, sir.

Trump: So all you need to do is give me a clean bill of health, say that I’m a stable genius or passed some mental test, maybe mention that I could live to 200 if I just tweaked my diet. In return, I’ll make you VA Secretary.

Jackson: Yes Mr. President. You’re healthy enough. But sir, I don’t need to exagger…

Trump: Make that press conference sing and the job is yours. Hey, Kelly! Lunch!

Maybe, or probably, that conversation or some simile never took place, but Dr. Bornstein’s revelations open the door to that possibility. And let’s face it, Dr. Jackson’s assessment of Trump’s health had a similar ring to Bornstein’s in its, uh, ebullience. Trump has done it once. An argument against this occurring is that I don’t believe Trump is strategic enough to make this kind of transaction. It may be more plausible that he saw Jackson on FoxNews, liked the cut of his jib and, voila! A nomination for VA Secretary. It may also be more plausible that Dr. Jackson has the ethics that Dr. Bornstein does not, but that doesn’t explain Dr. Jackson’s gushing. It does make me wonder.