May 2, 2018
By Joe Kloc
US president Donald Trump’s former personal physician, Harold Bornstein, who in medical school wrote epic poems under the pseudonym Count Harold, said that it was “black humor” that “takes the truth” in “a different direction” when he issued a medical report calling Trump a man of “extraordinary” strength who would be “the healthiest individual ever elected,” and that Trump had dictated the report to him. Bornstein, who has twice been sued for malpractice for allegedly overmedicating patients, told reporters that after he stated publicly that he had prescribed Trump the hair-growth medication Propecia, his office was raided by Trump’s bodyguard and two other men, who took all of Trump’s medical records and then forced Bornstein to take down a picture of himself and Trump together; and that he was then told he would not serve as the personal physician to the president and that Trump would instead use Ronny Jackson, a rear admiral of the Navy who had previously served as a presidential physician. Trump, who had nominated Jackson to become his veterans affairs secretary, said Jackson was “one of the finest people,” and more than 20 current and former colleagues of Jackson’s described the doctor as “despicable,” “unethical,” “the worst,” and prone to “screaming tantrums.” The White House press secretary called Jackson’s record “impeccable,” and a memo was released by the Senate alleging that Jackson maintained a “private stock of controlled substances”; “wrote himself scripts”; purchased prescription drugs for White House staff from an online supplier that was unmonitored by the government; once gave a staffer a “large supply” of the opioid Percocet; was known as the Candyman because on official overseas trips he would “go down the aisleway” of planes saying “Who wants to go to sleep?” as he handed out prescription sleep aids as well as drugs to wake staff members back up; and because he ran a so-called grab-and-go clinic from the White House in which he dispensed, without evaluating patients, controlled substances, including the prescription drug Ambien, whose side effects include hallucinations. Trump said that the accusations against Jackson were “slander” and called for the senator who publicly raised them to resign, and a former assistant pool manager in Virginia sued a lifeguard who tried to stop him from drowning himself.