The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Trump’s doctor pulls a Trump after media interview

Donald Trump arrives to speak to a campaign rally at the University of Northern Colorado in October. (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

Dr. Harold Bornstein issued perhaps the most Donald Trump-sounding medical opinions in the history of his profession when he wrote of the then-candidate’s health: “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” wrote the doctor about a year ago, right in the midst of the GOP presidential primary.

The longtime Trump doc apparently shares his patient’s whimsy and attitude toward the media as well. STAT, an up-and-coming site on health and science produced by Boston Globe Media, managed to corral Bornstein for a three-hour interview about his history with Trump, views on the health-care system and related topics. After that interview, however, Bornstein had a change of heart.

But five days after STAT’s visit to his office, in phone calls and text messages, Bornstein said he was angry and did not want the article or any photographs of him to be published.
“I happen to have known the Sulzbergers for 50 years,” Bornstein said in the second conversation, referring to the family that helms the New York Times. “I’m going to make sure you don’t ever work again if you do this.”

Reporter Ike Swetlitz, this blog feels comfortable predicting, will work again.

In addition to all their checkups, Trump and his doctor apparently share a tendency to threaten media organizations — Trump, with lawsuit threats and efforts to rile up rally crowds; Bornstein, with what has to be a hollow invocation of career ruination. The pattern: Trump mainstreams attacks on the media, and his doctor boosts the trend.