On Saturday evening, President Donald Trump’s White House physician, Sean Conley, pronounced in a memorandum that Trump had been tested for coronavirus, and that the results had come back negative.
On Thursday night, “after an in-depth discussion with the President regarding COVID-19 testing, he elected to proceed,” Conley said in the memo. “This evening I received confirmation that the test is negative.”
Trump had been asked by members of the press repeatedly if he was going to get tested, having been in contact with several leaders over the past few weeks who themselves ended up contracting COVID-19, the strain of coronavirus that has paralyzed much of the world into shutting down to stem its spread further.
It’s comforting news that the president has not tested positive for the disease, but there’s a greater concern here: can any of us actually trust the results? This is a president who lies frequently — he once said an undoctored image of himself, demonstrating the stark contrast between his face’s actual skin tone and his spray tan, was “fake news.”
Everyone in American knows the president’s natural skin color is not a bright orange. And yet, we’re told we have to believe it anyway.
INBOX: @realDonaldTrump’s physician, White House medical unit head Dr. Sean Conley (who put out a false statement saying POTUS didn’t need to be tested for #coronavirus as of last night) has issued another statement claiming that the president has tested negative. pic.twitter.com/pffYm2nYai
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) March 14, 2020
His health has similarly been lied about. Trump’s weight and eating habits are not recommended for men his age. Yet time after time, his physicians release glowing reports about his condition — his former doctor, Ronny Jackson, boasted that the president could live to be 200 years old if he fixed his eating routine.
Then there’s the admission from his former physician, Dr. Harold Bornstein, a New York gastroenterologist who “performed” a physical for Trump when he was campaigning for president. In the letter handed out to the press, Bornstein wrote that Trump would be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”
Many scratched their heads on that one — and weren’t surprised when, two years later, Bornstein admitted the whole thing was made up. “He dictated that whole letter. I didn’t write that letter. I just made it up as I went along,” Bornstein said.
Americans want to have trust in their president. But this one has given us no reason to do so. Naturally, skepticism of whatever he says, including on his own health, is warranted.
This is the problem with a president who consistently lies, and who forces his doctors to lie on his behalf: nothing that comes out from his lips can be trusted. And no medical diagnosis stands any chance of being believed, either.
Featured image credit: Trump image via Michael Vadon/Wikimedia