Clinton and Trump unwilling to share health records

WASHINGTON • Mr Donald Trump and Mrs Hillary Clinton have been more secretive and selective than many recent US presidential nominees in providing up-to-date details about their personal health - a particularly striking departure, experts say, given the candidates' age.

No US election has ever featured two major-party nominees as old as Mr Trump, 70, and Mrs Clinton, 68.

Yet they have declined to share the latest information about their health. Each released a brief medical statement last year; neither has added to it since.

Mr Trump has been especially unforthcoming, even as he has sought to turn health into an issue by questioning Mrs Clinton's "physical and mental strength and stamina".

A spokesman for Mr Trump said on Monday that he would have "no problem releasing additional records" about his health if Mrs Clinton did the same.

Advisers to Mrs Clinton, who has released more details than Mr Trump, said the onus was on him to match her disclosures.

Republicans from Mr Ronald Reagan to Mr Mitt Romney have released medical details, while among Democratic nominees, Mr Al Gore and Mr John Kerry spoke openly about their health; Mr Kerry had survived prostate cancer. Mr Bill Clinton and Mr Barack Obama were more reticent.

Mr Trump, who regularly eats fast food and says he does not sleep much or take long vacations, has provided only a four-paragraph statement from his gastroenterologist. It contained no details about his heart rate, respiratory rate, cholesterol level, past medications or family medical history. The doctor, Dr Harold Bornstein of Manhattan, concluded that Mr Trump, if victorious, "will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency" - a claim that was widely mocked as unprovable and unscientific.

Trump spokesman Katrina Pierson, who is not a doctor, last week suggested that Mrs Clinton had dysphasia, a disorder that impairs speech and comprehension.

Mrs Clinton issued a significantly more detailed letter from her physician in July last year that included information about a concussion she suffered in 2012, which left her with a blood clot in her head and double vision. Her doctor, Dr Lisa Bardack, said those symptoms were resolved within two months. Mr Clinton, however, has said that Mrs Clinton "required six months of very serious work to get over" the concussion - a statement that helped feed conspiracy theories among Republicans.

Advisers to Mrs Clinton said on Monday that she had provided sufficient information in the 2015 statement,while dismissing fake documents, purportedly by Dr Bardack, claiming that Mrs Clinton had suffered seizures and memory loss after her concussion.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2016, with the headline 'Clinton and Trump unwilling to share health records'. Subscribe