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President Donald Trump to undergo medical check amid speculation over his mental state

By Standard Reporter | Published Tue, January 9th 2018 at 16:09, Updated January 9th 2018 at 16:23 GMT +3
U.S President Donald Trump to undergo medical check. [Photo: Courtesy]

In an attempt to end speculation about his mental and physical suitability for the presidency, U.S President Donald Trump will undergo a formal medical check next week.

Trump is to be examined by the same doctor as his predecessor Barack Obama and a summary of the results will be made public.

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The physical test will last around two hours and include blood and urine tests, heart checks and even questions about his sleeping habits and sex life, according to medical experts.

The tests will be carried out at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on the edge of Washington DC, the country’s largest military hospital  on Friday. 

The first medical check by Mr Trump since entering the White House hopes to put to rest allegations about his mental state that emerged this week.

A controversial new book by journalist Michael Wolff claimed Mr Trump was failing to recognise old friends and often repeated stories “word-for-word”.  The White House called questions about his mental suitability for office“disgraceful”.

Examination a custom for presidents

The examination is merely a custom that has become norm for presidents in recent years, rather than a constitutional or congressional requirement.

Former US President Barack Obama set the bar of expectation pretty high.  His two-page medical summary released in March 2016 goes into remarkable details.

The specificity has raised hopes that some Trumps’ mysteries can finally be solved.

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However, the president has the power to hold back any details he wishes, as did Mr Obama, whose clean bill of health came with barely a single negative point.

It will not be the first time Mr Trump, 71, has released medical records. Facing calls for transparency during the 2016 election campaign, the candidate's personal physician put out a statement saying, “Mr Trump has suffered no form of cancer, has never had a hip, knee or shoulder replacement or any other orthopedic surgery. If elected, I can state unequivocally, that he will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

US history is littered with past presidents hiding illnesses. 

For instance, in 1983, Grover Cleveland used the excuse of a fishing trip to have secret cancer surgery on a yacht, fearing the impact the news would have on the markets if word got out.

In November 1944 when Franklin Roosevelt sought re-election, it is said that he hid the fact that he was at “death’s door”. He won, but passed away within six months.

On Friday, Mr Trump will follow a long line of presidents into the examination room. Critics and supporters alike will be carefully watching the results.

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