When footage of an unsteady Hillary Clinton surfaced in the middle of the 2016 presidential campaign, there was a media circus that lasted for days.
Clinton immediately disclosed that she had been trying to campaign through pneumonia.
After Donald Trump’s similarly unstable walk down a ramp over the weekend following a commencement address at West Point, there isn’t anywhere near the same level of media coverage.
MSNBC’s Ali Velshi sought to change that on Monday night by calling out the president for attacking the health of his opponents while covering up his own.
“This president cannot have it both ways,” the MSNBC host said. “He cannot make questionable claims about the health of others, including his opponents, while revealing nothing about himself.”
“What we saw this weekend is enough to say, ‘Mr. President, why don’t you tell us the truth about your health?’,” Velshi added.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) June 16, 2020
It was nearly seven months ago in November that the president made an urgent, unscheduled trip to the hospital. Nobody ever explained why he had to go to the hospital when the White House is equipped to deal with most minor medical issues. And then this weekend, there were two moments from the president’s speech at West Point that gave me pause. First, the president raised a glass of water toward his mouth with his right hand before using his left hand to push the glass toward his mouth. Then he exited the stage down what looked like a pretty typical ramp in a particularly slow and cautious manner. But that’s not all. Trump then drew attention to it, defensively tweeting that the ramp was steep and slippery and lying about running the last ten feet. He didn’t. Of course, the president has made the health of his opponents a major campaign issue in the past. He did it in 2016 with Hillary Clinton and he’s doing it again now with Joe Biden. There is no reason that someone with a health issue cannot or should not be president. We have had great presidents who battled physical adversity, but this president cannot have it both ways. He cannot make questionable claims about the health of others, including his opponents, while revealing nothing about himself. We need transparency about the health of this nation’s leader. What we saw this weekend is enough to say, ‘Mr. President, why don’t you tell us the truth about your health?’
The American people deserve answers for Trump’s unsteady public appearances
The American people don’t need a Twitter hashtag to recognize that Donald Trump is unwell.
To the surprise of nobody, none of these episodes have been explained by the White House. The only information about Trump’s health that has been disclosed is a fake letter released during his initial campaign and some questionable physical results revealed throughout his time in the White House.
As Ali Velshi said on Monday, the American people deserve transparency when it comes to the health of this country’s leader. That’s especially true in the case of Donald Trump.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.