The Health Issue

For the first time in our nation’s history, the two major party presidential candidates are in their seventies. One of them, the seventy-four-year-old President Donald Trump, has long made a major issue of the mental acuity of his rival, the seventy-seven-year-old former vice president, Joe Biden.

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Presidential Campaigns And Health Issues

It’s a legitimate issue, although one that apparently backfired in the first presidential debate, when Biden was clearly not the doddering old fool that Trump has long described. Four years earlier, in his presidential campaign against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Trump persistently raised questions about his rival’s physical health because she had had a persistent cough and a fainting episode.

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Now that President Trump has tested positively for the coronavirus and been hospitalized, his own health has become a major presidential campaign issue. And while he might not appreciate the irony, in the remaining month of the presidential campaign, he will be getting a taste of his own medicine.

That he is grossly overweight, never exercises, and subsists largely on fast food from MacDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken, his health will need to be closely monitored well beyond the time it takes him to recover. This would have been necessary for any person in his age group.

While Biden and his campaign will be extremely careful not to make Trump’s health an issue, it became one in voters’ minds within hours after the president was taken to Walter Reed Hospital for treatment. And even if he is soon released, a tremendous amount of political damage has already been done.

Trump's Comments On Biden

That Trump had constantly mocked Biden’s mental health, and even his frequent mask-wearing in public, that will also be turned back on the president. Conceivably, it might even raise doubts in the minds of his most fervent followers about the fitness of their leader to serve four more years.

Predictably, Trump will put the best possible face on this entire episode, and probably against the advice of his doctors, move back into the White House today or tomorrow. After all, this will not be the first time he will have rejected the best medical advice. Had he listened to Dr. Anthony Fauci and our nation’s other top epidemiologists, many more Americans would be alive today.

In the coming weeks, President Trump will continue complaining that the election is rigged against him. But he will never begin to understand his own role in this tragedy. He helped spread this deadly pandemic, and now he is paying the consequences.