As President Joe Biden celebrated his 81st birthday, Donald Trump, a prominent figure in the GOP, took the opportunity to shift the spotlight to age and health dynamics in the lead-up to the 2024 election.
Trump released a letter from his physician, Dr. Bruce A. Aronwald, asserting the former president’s outstanding physical and mental well-being.
While the letter lacks specific details such as weight, blood pressure, or cholesterol levels, Dr. Aronwald, who claims to have been Trump’s doctor since 2021, emphasized that Trump’s recent physical and cognitive exams were well within normal ranges. The physician attributed favorable lab results to the former president’s recent weight loss, achieved through an improved diet and consistent physical exercise.
According to the letter, the 77-year-old Trump is “currently in excellent health” and is expected to maintain an active lifestyle for years to come. The assessment gains significance as age emerges as a focal point for the 2024 election, where Trump and Biden, the country’s oldest president, may find themselves in contention once again.
Public perception of age in political leaders is evident in polls, with a notable majority considering Biden, and likely by extension Trump, as potentially too old for another term.
Despite Trump’s age proximity to Biden, Americans seem more apprehensive about age as a liability for the former president, as revealed in an August poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Trump’s rivals, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, have seized upon this sentiment, emphasizing the importance of youthful vigor in the presidency. DeSantis remarked on CNN that the presidency is not a role for someone “pushing 80 years old,” positioning himself as a candidate in the prime of life.
This isn’t the first time Trump’s health has taken center stage. During his 2016 campaign, a letter from the late Dr. Harold N. Bornstein portrayed Trump as the “healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” only for Bornstein later to reveal that Trump had dictated the letter himself.
Despite the controversy surrounding Trump’s health assessments, his doctors during his White House tenure provided more comprehensive information, revealing details from annual physicals that included numbers and test results.
The interplay between age, health, and political leadership continues to be a crucial narrative, and as Trump’s physician assures the public of his fitness, the 2024 election landscape takes on added layers of intrigue.