Thursday 18 October 2018

Scepticism over Donald Trump’s medical report leads to ‘girther’ movement

The name has taken inspiration from conspiracy theories Barack Obama faced.

Donald Trump shakes hands with Ronny Jackson
Donald Trump shakes hands with Ronny Jackson

By Edd Dracott, Press Association

A medical by a Navy doctor found Donald Trump’s health to be “excellent” this week – but the president’s measurements have been met with scepticism from the public.

According to the report carried out by Dr Ronny Jackson, the 71-year-old is 6ft 3ins (1.9m) tall and weighs 239 pounds (108kg).

These measurements placed his Body Mass Index (BMI) at 29.9, putting him in the overweight category and just 0.1 units away from obese – a reading of 30 and above.

The readings were met with some surprise online.

Indeed, the medical information has become the source of a tongue-in-cheek conspiracy theory, similar to one that plagued Mr Trump’s predecessor.

Those who accused Barack Obama of faking his birth certificate to prove his US citizenship, which included the new president, were known as birthers – and one clever clogs has come up with a new name for the Trump medical theorists.

So, why are people so adamant Mr Trump’s numbers don’t add up?

Well, some point to discrepancies in his height measurement. Many, including columnist Gersh Juntzman, shared a picture of what appears to be Mr Trump’s driving licence claiming he was 6ft 2in (1.88m) in 2012 – the same height Google has for Mr Trump when searched.

He tweeted: “Now his doctor says he’s 75 inches. And that one inch makes his BMI ‘overweight’ not ‘obese.’ I’m a #girther because old men don’t GROW an inch!”

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Trump speaking at an event in the Roosevelt Room in the White House

Others decided to give comparisons, pointing to the fact former president Mr Obama is listed as 6ft 1in, two inches shorter than Mr Trump – saying he appears a similar height in pictures at last year’s inauguration.

Some pointed to Mr Trump’s weight, comparing him with sports stars – such as the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings running back Latavius Murray, who has the same height and weight measurements according to one Twitter user.

However, others have defended the medical, with the Huffington Post’s Yashar Ali tweeting: “Dr. Ronny Jackson has been the Presidential physician since 2013. Give the conspiracy theories a rest.”

Others suggested the similarity in weight between Mr Trump and professional athletes could be explained by science.

Press Association

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