President Donald Trump’s former longtime doctor, Dr. Harold Bornstein, died at age 73 on Jan. 8, 2021, The New York Times reported. His cause of death is still unknown as of this writing. Bornstein, who is survived by a wife, a daughter, and four sons, had acted as Trump’s personal physician from 1980 to 2017. The New York-based gastroenterologist became famous most recently for writing a gushing letter praising the 45th U.S. President’s health in 2015, per The Hill. The letter assessing Trump’s physical fitness included such a glowing statement as “his physical strength and stamina are extraordinary.” It went on to read, “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”
Bornstein, as it later turned out, claimed he didn’t mean one word of it, as he related to CNN in 2018. According to Bornstein, the letter’s intention of instilling public confidence in the then-Presidential candidate’s fitness was all Trump’s idea. “He dictated that whole letter. I didn’t write that letter. I just made it up as I went along,” Bornstein’s shocking revelation shared.
How did President Trump and his physician of nearly 40 years come to sour in relations? Read on to find out.
Donald Trump and Doctor Harold Bornstein butted heads
The drama between President Trump and former physician Dr. Harold Bornstein began in early 2017,when Bornstein told The New York Times that the newly inaugurated President was using the hair-growth drug Propecia. Bornstein added that he himself took Propecia, telling the Times, “He has all his hair. I have all my hair.”
According to NBC News, Bornstein said he was summarily fired by Trump a few days later. Three Trump representatives (including a bodyguard and lawyer) allegedly came into his Manhattan office and seized all his medical files on Trump. No one actually told Bornstein the reason for the seizure and dismissal, but he saw it as revenge for his Propecia outing. “I feel raped — that’s how I feel,” Bornstein said to the outlet of the ordeal. “Raped, frightened, and sad.” Bornstein went on to say, “I couldn’t believe anybody was making a big deal out of a drug to grow his hair that seemed to be so important. And it certainly was not a breach of medical trust to tell somebody they take Propecia to grow their hair.”
Bornstein’s claim of personal motivation in the 2017 incident was countered by then-White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who said at a press briefing, “As is standard operating procedure for a new president, the White House Medical Unit took possession of the president’s medical records.”
Despite the fame garnered by his relationship with Trump, Bornstein will also be remembered by patients for his long medical career.
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