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Dr. Harold Bornstein, who called Trump 'healthiest individual elected to the presidency,' dead at 73

Doctor shortage 110819
Posted at 9:53 AM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 10:53:52-05

Dr. Harold Bornstein, the former personal physician for President Donald Trump who in 2015 that the then-presidential candidate would be the "healthiest individual elected to the presidency" has died, according to a paid notice in the New York Times. He was 73.

According to the notice, Bornstein died last Friday. The paid obituary did not give a cause of death or say where he died.

Bornstein worked as a gastroenterologist from Lenox Hospital in New York. His father, Dr. Jacob Bornstein, served as Trump's primary care physican until his death in 1980, at which point he took over care.

The long-haired and bespectacled Bornstein first made headlines on Dec. 4, 2015, several months into Trump's presidential campaign, by sending out a letter declaring Trump to be healthy.

"If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency," the letter read. It also claimed Trump received "only positive results" and that his "his physical strength and stamina are extraordinary."

In 2018, Bornstein told CNN that it was Trump who wrote the letter.

"He dictated that whole letter. I didn't write that letter," Bornstein told CNN. "I just made it up as I went along."

Politico reports that Bornstein's and Trump's relationship soured quickly after Trump won the presidency in 2016.

In December 2016, Bornstein was rather blasé in speaking to Stat News about the potential of Trump dying in office.

"If something happens to him, then it happens to him," he at the time. "It's like all the rest of us, no? That's why we have a vice president and a speaker of the House and a whole line of people. They can just keep dying."

Months later, in Feb. 2017, Bornstein claimed Keith Schiller — a longtime Trump associate and the then-Director of Oval Office Operations — of breaking into his office and stealing Trump's medical records. Bornstein told NBC News in 2018 that the incident left him feeling "raped, frightened and sad."

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, then the White House press secretary, said at the time of NBC News' report that Schiller was not conducting a "raid" and had been following standard operating procedure, though she did not dispute Bornstein's account.