In some ways, the president of the United States is one of the most pampered people in the country, to the point of never having to worry or even think about most personal activities. Transportation, meals, basic needs - pocket change is unnecessary. Most things that most people think about as a matter of daily getting-around simply aren't considerations for the president. All taken care of.
The other side of it is that the job of president is unremittingly stressful. The cares of the world are on the shoulders of the president, and they never can be escaped. At 3 a.m or in the middle of a family vacation, the presidency remains an unavoidable part of life for the four or eight years it is undertaken (maybe less in the case of resignation). If a person is making life and death decisions impacting millions of people, you want that person at their best - and in solid health.
Not all of our presidents have been in great health, and some have functioned remarkably well despite serious problems - Franklin Rosevelt's polio, for example. But the Oval occupant's health can also impair a presidency and do damage to the country, as witness an extended stretch in Woodrow Wilson's presidency. Presidential health is a consideration in all cases, but it becomes greater when the person has packed in more years. As in the case of both major party nominees this year.
Some health questions have arisen concerning Hillary Clinton, especially concerning a 2012 concussion and blood clot incident. Her doctor said "Clinton was diagnosed with a “transverse sinus venous thrombosis,” a type of blood clot in the brain, and was given anticoagulants to dissolve the clot. After the concussion, Clinton experienced double-vision and wore glasses with a Fresnel Prism." A year later, the medical condition was gone, as were the glasses. None of this was trivial, but it all apparently has been treated appropriately.
Her doctor's recent conclusion was, "“In summary, Mrs. Clinton is a healthy female with hypothyroidism and seasonal allergies, on longterm anticoagulation,” Bardack concludes. “She participates in a healthy lifestyle and has had a full medical evaluation, which reveals no evidence of additional medical issues or cardiovascular disease. Her cancer screening evaluations are all negative. She is in excellent physical condition and fit to serve as President of the United States.”
Donald Trump, who would be the oldest person ever sworn in as president, is another matter. From outward appearances (as with Mrs. Clinton) he is in good health, and that may be the case. He does not seem to lack for energy.
We haven't heard much by way of a professional report about Trump's health. One report was attributed in a tweet to Dr. Jacob Bornstein of Lenox Hill Hospital; Trump later deleted the tweet, probably because Jacob Bornstein is dead. Harold Bornstein, however, is very much alive and says Donald Trump is the picture of health.
He wrote that “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”
A simple statement that Trump is a healthy 70-year-old man physically capable of serving as president (assuming that he is) would do; this presumption of comparing Trump's health to James Madison's, Andrew Jackson's and Theodore Roosevelt's is ridiculous. (One news report said that "Reached for comment regarding this, a spokesperson at the American Medical Association just giggled.")
We don't have a serious medical report on the man. What we have, as several commentators noted, is something that reads like a medical report on the strongman of North Korea.
And that's physical health. We'll return to the subject of Trump's mental health.