WASHINGTON » Donald Trump released a glowing letter from his physician today declaring that the Republican presidential candidate will be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency” if he wins in 2016.
The letter from Dr. Harold Bornstein of Lenox Hill Hospital, identified as Trump’s personal physician since 1980, was released after Trump promised to disclose his medical records amid questions about the billionaire businessman’s health.
Trump, 69, has acknowledged eating a less-than-healthy diet — heavy on McDonald’s — and said his primary form of exercise consists of speaking at campaign events.
“I love steak and hamburger and pasta and french fries — all the things we shouldn’t be eating,” he said during an interview this fall on Bloomberg’s “With All Due Respect.”
Nonetheless, his medical evaluation — a glowing, four-paragraph assessment that was sparse on details and written in similar language to that used by Trump himself — said the GOP front-runner has suffered no significant medical problems over the past 39 years.
A recent exam, Bornstein wrote, “showed only positive results,” with a blood pressure rating of 110/65 and laboratory test results he described as “astonishingly excellent.”
Trump takes an aspirin daily and a low dose of statins, a class of drugs used to lower cholesterol. He has suffered no form of cancer and has had no joints replaced.
“His physical strength and stamina are extraordinary,” Bornstein added, saying Trump’s only surgery was an appendectomy at the age of 10. Bornstein wrote that he took over Trump’s care from his father, Dr. Jacob Bornstein, who died in 2010.
Trump, who does not smoke or drink alcohol, often likes to boast of his stamina on the campaign trail, despite logging far fewer events than many other candidates.
Trump had promised to release his medical records following questions from the news outlet Politico earlier this month.
In an interview with Barbara Walters, Trump’s oldest children were asked what she would change about their father.
“I want him to eat healthier,” his daughter Ivanka said.
“Less McDonald’s,” chimed his youngest daughter, Tiffany.
In a New York Times Magazine profile, Trump was quoted saying that he’s not following any particular exercise regime. “All my friends who work out all the time, they’re going for knee replacements, hip replacements — they’re a disaster,” he said.
Instead, the magazine wrote, “he exerts himself fully by standing in front of an audience for an hour.”
“That’s exercise,” Trump told the magazine.
Still, Trump’s physician said he’s lost at least 15 pounds over the last 12 months.
Releasing health records has become a standard campaign practice, and several of Trump’s rivals, including Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, and GOP rival Jeb Bush have already released statements of health from their doctors far more detailed than the one released by Trump.
Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said the doctor’s letter is the only record of his health the campaign intends to release.
A two-page letter by Clinton’s physician included references to her hypothyroidism and seasonal pollen allergies, as well as a 2009 elbow fracture and 2012 concussion that continues to stokes concerns about her health.
It also described the 68-year-old’s exercise regimen and diet — “rich in lean protein, vegetables and fruits” — and outlined her parents’ medical histories, as well as providing her blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol readings.
Bush’s physician outlined a medical history that included a past vitamin D insufficiency, gastritis, colon polyps, sinusitis, and low back pain. The letter also spelled out his body mass index, cholesterol and pulse, in addition his blood pressure and daily medications.
Older candidates have tended to face the most scrutiny when it comes to questions about their health.
Sen. John McCain, for instance, faced concerns about his age as well as a medical history when he ran for president that included several bouts with melanoma. His 2008 campaign released eight years of McCain’s medical records as it sought to prove that McCain, then-71, was healthy enough for the presidency.
Bob Dole’s advanced age also raised concerns when he ran for president in 1996.
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This story has been corrected to say that Trump’s physician is Dr. Harold Bornstein, who took over Trump’s care from his late father, Dr. Jacob Bornstein.