Do you have any idea what eight hours of television and a dozen Diet Cokes—a day!—can do to a 71-year-old brain? Sure, you do. We’ve all had 324 days (and counting) to witness the tragic results.
Late last week, lots of people were alarmed at Donald Trump’s slurred words during a policy address about Jerusalem. “God bless the United Shhh-tates,” the president woozed, and Twitter went crazy.
Was it ill-fitting dentures? Was it a momentary brain fart? Was it 120 ounces of aspartame-infused, caramel-colored, fizzy-water sloshing inside the poor man’s belly? While others warned of something more neurologically profound, White House spokesman Raj Shah responded dismissively: “His throat was dry. There's nothing to it.”
Believe that if you want to. But the howling was loud enough that White House officials did promise that Trump will get a head-to-toe medical exam early next year at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, just like normal presidents do. All we’ve had to go on so far is a 2015 letter from Trump’s longtime personal physician, an obvious goofball named Dr. Harold Bornstein, who asserted that his paunchy patient would “unequivocally” be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”
Now that the real doctors are in, the next question will be whether their exam reports will ever be released to the public—or held in permanent limbo like the president’s tax returns. We shall see.
In the meantime, there is no stopping Trump watchers from drawing their own conclusions based on the president’s erratic behavior and common sense. Judd Apatow is only the latest to weigh in.
Speaking at 92Y on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the prolific director, who has worked with thousands of actors at a wide variety of throat-lubrication levels, called the dry-mouth assertion utterly preposterous. Apatow’s personal experience tells him something far more serious is happening here.
“My grandmother, who’s 94 and in assisted living, talks like that,” he said. “I certainly love her but would also not want her to be the president.”
Metro columnist Ellis Henican is the best-selling author of a dozen books, including TRUMPITUDE: The Secret Confessions of Donald’s Brain. He is on Twitter @henican.