Last Saturday, President Donald Trump paid a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. This visit, though described by the White House as a mere "[portion] of his routine annual physical exam," was apparently unplanned. Also curious is the fact that Trump had his annual check-up in February, making an additional one an oddity. Add that to the fact that most basic medical examinations are done in the White House medical unit, there's a lot of room for speculation, especially because the president has been known to exaggerate the status of his health in the past.
Despite evidence to the contrary, Trump continues to loudly defend the status of his health via Twitter.
The president's furious defense of his health in the face of this speculation emphasizes a key irony in the president's treatment of his political opponents. For years, he has preyed on the health status of his competitors, famously attacking Hillary Clinton's bout of pneumonia during the 2016 elections, Bernie Sanders' heart attack last month, and Joe Biden's overall mental acuity in recent weeks.
This is one of his key methods of attack, and has been since before his presidency, but it seems as though the president is unaware of (or at least unwilling to accept) his own vulnerability.
Though preying on the issues of others may allow him to make himself look like a stronger leader, the fact remains that Trump himself is just as susceptible, if not more, to the ailments that afflict his rivals.
The health of the people who run this country is not something that constituents can't take lightly, and that begins with the president. Trump may try to point fingers at his adversaries to distract from his own shortcomings, but at the end of the day, his death or major illness would be the one that affects America the most. It's downright irresponsible for there to be any opacity regarding the president's health, as there clearly has been in the past.
The president is well into his 70s, clinically obese, not physically active, and showing concerning lapses of memory that could potentially make him unfit for office. If Trump's health is deteriorating at any scale, it's crucial that this is acknowledged and handled before it begins to negatively affect the country. Because at the end of the day, it's not Clinton, or Sanders, or Biden that has the biggest hold over the welfare of America — it's Trump.
Trump can gloat about his outstanding health all he wants, and he certainly finds it easy to concern himself over the health of his political foes, but, at the end of the day, Trump is an aging man who has been showing signs of medical vulnerability since he stepped foot in office. Until he and his White House can acknowledge this and inform the people, they keep America's political stability in unnecessary uncertainty.