Donald Trump's personal physician, Dr. Harold Bornstein, was launched into public eye (and became prime internet meme fodder) last year when he proclaimed, to much ridicule, that Trump would be "healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” Now, Bornstein is back in the spotlight following an eyebrow-raising interview with journalist Ike Swetlitz for STAT news. According to the just-released profile, Swetlitz sat down for a a three-hour interview with the doctor, during which the two discussed his infamous patient and healthcare in America at large.
As Swetlitz notes, this is the first time Bornstein has spoken to the media since Trump was elected to the presidency in November. It seems that, in that time, the doctor has not lost his ability to issue sometimes shocking, other times sensational statements.
Focusing primarily on Bornstein, the article also includes statements from Bornstein's partner Melissa, who says the two have been the targets of a number of harassing phone calls, as well as their son Jeremee, a college student. The piece rounds Bornstein out more fully as a person than past coverage of him has and provides further insight on his views of the medical profession and his practice more specifically. Still, all these added details only seem to bolster Bornstein's reputation as an eccentric.
Here are some of his more puzzling and shocking quotes from the piece:
On The Line Of Succession
If something happens to [Trump], then it happens to him... 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.
"I’m going to make sure you don’t ever work again if you do this." In the profile, Swetlitz writes that five days after their meeting, Bornstein demanded that the interview and photos not be published. Obviously, that request and the accompanying threat to Swetlitz's career were not honored.
On His Office Decor
"Here’s a naked doorstop." Swetlitz also notes that Bornstein has the phrase “dottore molto famoso,” Italian for “very famous doctor,” printed on his business cards.
On The Doctor-Patient Relationship
"There’s no barrier where the patients end and our personal lives begin." According to the article, Trump isn't the only patient Bornstein shares a close relationship with. And while nothing about that violates the American Medical Association's Code of Ethics, it has inspired some to call for independent medical reviews to be required of presidential candidates.
On Trump's Health
Well, I’m fortunate there’s nothing seriously wrong with him. He’s a few pounds overweight, which everybody can see, and that’s it. I’ve never been able to find anything wrong with him.
Bornstein is remaining consistent in his assessment of Trump's sterling bill of health. Though, as the article reveals, he has no idea if he will continue to be the president-elect's doctor once Inauguration Day comes around.
On Hillary Clinton
"She’s an old lady. She’s an old lady. It’s funny, isn’t it?" Actually, no. Ageist misogyny is not funny.
On Trump Supporters
Trump was elected, really, by people that are used to paying, the center of the country... The center of this country is the old Protestant ethic. You work, you get paid.
Bornstein said this in the context of his opposition to free healthcare. Apparently, according to Bornstein, the more than 65 million people who voted for Clinton do not expect to get paid for the work they do.
Swetlitz's piece on Trump is full of many more details about Bornstein, including the fact that he fronted a band called Doc Bornstein and the Interns when he was in high school. It's worth a read, especially as he stands to draw even more media attention once Trump assumes office and, presumably, takes his doctor to Washington with him.