Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump speaks with Texas state troopers and troopers at South Texas International Airport, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023, in Edinburg, Texas. (Delcia Lopez/The Monitor via AP, Pool)

NEW YORK — GOP front-runner Donald Trump celebrated President Joe Biden’s 81st birthday on Monday by releasing a letter from his doctor saying the former president is in “excellent” physical and mental health.

The letter posted on Trump’s social media platform contained no details to support his claims — measurements such as weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, or the results of any tests. Bruce A. Aronwald, a New Jersey doctor who says he has been Trump’s doctor since 2021 and who most recently examined him in September, reported that “Trump’s physical exams were within the normal range and his cognitive exams were exceptional.”

He added that Trump’s latest lab results were “even more favorable than previous tests on some of the most significant parameters,” thanks to recent weight loss that he attributed to “improved diet and continued daily physical exercise.” , while maintaining a strict schedule.”

The doctor concluded that the 77-year-old “currently enjoys excellent health” and “will continue to enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle for years to come.”

The report comes as age emerges as a key issue in the 2024 elections, which could see Trump and Biden, the country’s oldest president, face off once again.

Although Trump is not much younger than Biden, polls consistently find that Americans view age as a liability for the president. An August poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 77% of U.S. adults, including 69% of Democrats, considered Biden too old to be effective for another four years, while just 51% of adults – and only 28% of Republicans – said the same about Trump.

Still, Trump’s rivals have tried to highlight his age by drawing attention to his recent missteps, including confusing the city and state where he campaigned.

“The presidency is not a job for someone approaching 80,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, one of Trump’s rivals, said on CNN on Sunday, presenting himself as a man “in the prime of my life.” .

Attestations of Trump’s rigor from his doctors have become a genre of their own.

In late December 2015, during his first campaign for the Republican nomination, the Trump campaign released an impassioned letter from the late Dr. Harold N. Bornstein that claimed that Trump, a well-known fast food aficionado who avoided vigorous exercise, would “ unequivocally” the “healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

Bornstein later revealed that Trump himself dictated the glowing assessment, calling it “dark humor” and admitting he wrote it in five minutes while a limousine sent by the then-candidate waited outside his office.

“I just made it up as I went along,” he told CNN in 2018. “It’s like the movie ‘Fargo.’ He takes the truth and moves it in a different direction.”

While in the White House, Trump’s doctors offered a more complete picture of his health after annual physicals that included numbers and test results.

His 2019 physical, for example, revealed that he was officially considered obese, while his 2018 exam revealed that he had a common form of heart disease.

Still, then-White House Dr. Ronny Jackson delivered a glowing report during a long press conference about the scan, in which he extolled Trump’s “incredible genes” — “it’s simply the way God created him,” he said – and joked that if the then-71-year-old president had a healthier diet in the previous 20 years, “he could live to be 200.”

Jackson also said Trump performed “extremely well” on a surprise cognitive screening test designed to detect early signs of memory loss and other mild cognitive impairments. Trump continues to brag about the results to this day.

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Aronwald did not immediately return a message left at his office.



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