Donald Trump has been addressing the health of Hillary Clinton lately, several times repeating that he has doubts about her ability to deal with the stress of being President.
“Importantly, she also lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS and all of the many adversaries we face — not only in terrorism, but in trade and every other challenge we must confront to turn our great country around,” Trump said in a speech on Monday, emphasizing the word “physical” in his delivery.
Rumors and conspiracies about Hillary Clinton’s health have been circulating in the Twitter and blogging realms for months, but only recently has Trump really commented on them. There are the debunked claims that she needs help up stairs. More despicably, there are images of forged medical records describing Clinton as suffering from “advancing Subcortical Vascular Dementia” and “frequent Complex Partial Seizures.” The doctor quoted in the records, Dr. Lisa Bardack, has stated that the records are “false, were not written by me and are not based on any medical facts.” The Twitter account that released them has since been deleted.
Both candidates’ personal doctors have given them clean bills of health. Trump’s personal doctor, Dr. Bornstein, described the nominee’s health saying “his physical strength and stamina are extraordinary,” echoing the exact words that Trump used to attack Clinton.
Trump’s comments are certainly aimed directly at Clinton’s gender. Clinton lacks the “strength and stamina” to run the country because at the end of the day she’s still just a girl. Men are stronger than women, implying that Donald Trump is a more fit candidate. “Stamina” also has male sexual connotations of virility are really too horrible to contemplate at any length coming from Trump, but painting Clinton as a sexless or frigid spinster. These implications are bolstered in the minds of detractors by the specter of Bill’s philandering.
In any case, both candidates seem to be in good health for people in their seventh decade of life, and are vouched for by their doctors. Donald Trump’s gendered attacks are catnip for the misogynist faction of his supporters, perpetuating the idea that a woman just isn’t good enough for a man’s job of President.
What We Actually Know About Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s Health