BOSTON (CBS) – First, some full disclosure. According to my personal physician, I am in good health. Or as Donald Trump’s doctor might put it, in the most fantastic health any commentator has ever been in! Ok, my knee acts up once in a while, and my hang-time on the basketball court isn’t what it once was but… what’s that? Too much information? Ok, I agree.
But the point is, I am not running for president, fortunately for America. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are. If there are issues with their health, I think most voters would like to know about it before they make their choice.
Why is it any of our business?
First of all, because we’ve been misled about presidential candidate health too many times in the past. The impact of polio on Franklin Delano Roosevelt was carefully hidden from the public, as was John F. Kennedy’s Addison’s disease. The late Senator Paul Tsongas assured us he had been cured of cancer; we later learned that he would almost certainly not have lived out his term if elected.
Health issues can affect a president’s capacity to do the world’s most stressful job. And it can heighten the importance of the vice-presidential nominee. Surely these are factors voters are entitled to consider. You could be legally liable if you provided phony details of your health on an insurance form. And if someone will lie to you about something as important as this, what won’t they lie to you about?
Hillary Clinton should not have tried to hide her pneumonia from the public. Donald Trump’s one-page testimonials from his gastroenterologist are an insult to voter intelligence. If these two wonder why they are so distrusted, they might want to look in a mirror.