JTA — Harold Bornstein, the New York Jewish physician whose 2016 letter declaring Donald Trump “unequivocally the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency” turned out to have been written by Trump, is dead at 73.
His death notice appeared Thursday in The New York Times. No cause of death was given.
The letter released during the 2016 campaign was prompted by media demands for Trump’s health records after Trump accused his rival, Hillary Clinton, of obscuring health problems. Clinton had released a letter from a physician declaring her to be in good health.
The hyperbole in Bornstein’s letter — Trump’s blood pressure was “astonishingly excellent,” it said — raised eyebrows. Bornstein vigorously insisted he had penned the letter, but in 2018 revealed that Trump indeed was one who had dictated it.
Bornstein and Trump had fallen out; the Trump campaign supposedly cut him off because he had spoken to the media. The doctor said campaign officials bullied him and demanded he remove from his office a picture with Trump. Bornstein had ambitions of becoming the White House physician and was upset by the poor seats he got at Trump’s 2017 inauguration.
Bornstein had inherited Trump as a patient from his father Jacob’s practice.
Bornstein had an eccentric affection for Italian: He communicated with journalists; flirted online with women journalists; demanded payment for interviews and delivered a speech at his son’s bar mitzvah in the language, although there was little evidence anyone at the event understood what he was saying.
He is survived by his wife, Melissa, four sons and a daughter.