The Hillary Clinton presidential bus ran off the road and hit a tree this week. Television cameras caught indisputable evidence of her failing health and the issue became no longer one just reported by right wing bloggers, but rather an issue reported by the mainstream media. As usual with Hillary Clinton, her default position of secrecy and obfuscation caused more harm to her than the underlying
issue of her health. Had she simply disclosed that she was trying to battling through pneumonia, she
could have earned the public's sympathy. Instead she came across as unsympathetic because of the attempt to hide the issue.
The bungled issue by the Clinton campaign gave Trump a pass, at least thus far, on his own medical condition. Thus far all Trump has disclosed is a ridiculous letter signed by Dr. Harold Bornstein, a gastroenterologist by training. The letter, supposedly written by the doctor in 5 minutes, doesn't sound like it is written by a medical doctor or any professional for that matter. It repeatedly employs Trump-type hyperbole and exaggeration. The letter declares
that Trump's health is "astonishingly excellent" and his "physical strength and stamina are extraordinary." Dr. Bornstein also wrote that "[i]f elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency." When asked to justify the hyperbole, Dr. Bornstein said
"I like that sentence to be quite honest with you and all the rest of them are either sick or dead." Of course, the comment focused on the health of a presidential candidate at the time of that person's election,
not that person's current health, but facts never seem very relevant to people who have boarded the Trump train. Dr. Bornstein admits
that he's jumped on that train explaining "I like Donald Trump because I think he likes me. That's the same reasoning Trump cites for his deep affection for the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin who has his political opponents killed.
One doesn't have to be a genius to figure out that, given the language used, Trump was the real writer of the letter and Dr. Bornstein simply signed it. Trump promised to disclose the results of a recent physical exam publicly on the Dr. Oz show. But today Trump changed his mind
about doing that and indicated the discussion on Dr. Oz will be a "general discussion about health and wellness, not one anchored to the fitness of one of the two major candidates for President." Does anyone doubt that if Trump was as healthy as the Dr. Bornstein letter claimed, Trump would have hesitated to discuss the issue publicly?
Unlike matters related to her health, Hillary Clinton has disclosed publicly her tax returns. In doing so she is following the tradition every presidential candidate has followed for decades. Trump though tis breaking that tradition. While initially promising to disclose his tax records, Trump has reneged on that promise claiming that he is under audit and therefore can't release the tax returns. (Of course, an audit doesn't stop the release of tax records.) Trump's campaign, however, can't or won'teven produce the IRS record notifying him of the audit and they won't release tax forms from the years before the audit. It could well be that Trump's tax forms will demonstrate that Trump pays little, if any taxes, and claims of his great wealth (which would produce substantial income that would have to be reported) simply are not true. Or the forms could show that Trump has received substantial business loans from the Russian investors and even government officials.
Voters have a right to know potential financial conflicts of interest that might be revealed on tax forms. They also have a right to know the medical condition of those running for President. Disclosure of tax forms and medical records should be a requirement of running for President.