Donald Trump's campaign and its supporters spent a good portion of the 2016 campaign arguing that Hillary Clinton was secretly very ill and not up to the task of being president.
Trump's doctor, by contrast, isn't too worried about his patient dying in office — at least, not when it comes to the future of the country.
“If something happens to him, then it happens to him,” Harold Bornstein says. “It’s like all the rest of us, no? That’s why we have a vice president and a speaker of the House and a whole line of people. They can just keep dying.”
That amazing quote comes courtesy of a new interview Bornstein did with STAT. And it's part of a veritable murderer's row of curmudgeonly quotes from and anecdotes about the . . . well . . . interesting physician.
A few other quotes from the interview:
- About the lack of disclosure about Trump's health and his being the oldest president: “There's nothing to share” on a regular basis. And: “Ronald Reagan had pre-senile dementia. I mean, seriously, did they share that one with you, or did Nancy just cover it up?”
- Before agreeing to the interview, Bornstein pleaded for the reporter to leave him alone. “Please stop this nonsense!!!” he said in an email.
- On having second thoughts about the interview being published afterward: “I happen to have known the Sulzbergers [the family that owns the New York Times] for 50 years. I’m going to make sure you don’t ever work again if you do this.”
- Trump isn't “an old man the way my grandfather was an old man.” But Hillary Clinton: “She’s an old lady. She’s an old lady. It’s funny, isn’t it?”
- On his son volunteering to work for Trump's campaign: “What a great experience, for an 18-year-old to go to Trump Tower in a presidential year, with this character, of all people.”
Bornstein, in case you haven't noticed, is kind of like Trump, if Trump were less rich and an eccentric gastroenterologist. Witness this anecdote:
The back of his business cards are written in Italian, with the phrase “dottore molto famoso,” or “very famous doctor,” below his name. (For 10 years, he took private Italian lessons from women he found through Craigslist postings, paying them about $60 an hour for weekly sessions, he said.) A photograph of his psychoanalyst hangs in his office. As this reporter left his office, Bornstein pointed out what appeared to be a small, naked doll sitting on the ground — “here’s a naked doorstop.”
Bornstein says he isn't sure whether he'll continue as Trump's physician while Trump serves as president. As a media professional, I think I speak for all of us when I say we'd prefer that he did.