Donald Trump: Too Old To Be President? You probably already have an opinion on whether Joe Biden is too old to be president. His quirks and difficulties often attributed to his old age are well documented.
The White House, his doctor, and his wife repeatedly say Biden is fit to serve.
But what about Donald Trump?
The former president has said he is a “very stable genius” but does this mean that Trump could defy his advanced age and serve as commander in chief with no age-related difficulties?
Donald Trump: Just Too Old?
Donald Trump is 76 years old. If he won re-election in 2024, he would be as old as 78 by 2025 when sworn in.
Most observers would agree that it is on the older side. Many people slow down in advanced age – that is just a fact of life. Trump does show that he can take on hectic travel schedules with speaking engagements that can last as long as two hours.
After his yearly White House physical in 2020, Donald Trump was given a clean bill of health. But at least one of his statistics raised questions. His reported blood pressure was 121 over 79. That is around a “high normal range” and that happens to be what my blood pressure usually measures. So, I believe that the assessment of Trump’s blood pressure is accurate.
The Low Heart Rate Number for Trump Is Questionable
However, Trump’s doctor reported a resting heart rate of 63 beats per minute. That number is highly suspect. The lower the resting heart rate, the more likely you are to be in great shape. Marathon runners often measure between 50 to 60 for their resting heart rate. There is no way Trump could even run a mile as his most strenuous exercise is playing golf, so I doubt his resting heart rate is that low. I am a runner and a gym-goer, and my resting heart rate is not below 70. A resting heart rate of 72 is considered average.
Watch Out for Your Cholesterol, Mr. President
Trump also has high cholesterol. In his 2018 presidential physical, it was reported that his total cholesterol number was 223, and 196 in 2019, both unhealthy numbers. That went down in subsequent years, his doctor reported. In 2020, his total cholesterol was at 167 and his LDL “bad cholesterol” was below 100. This still puts Trump in a high normal range, and he is taking medication to lower it.
His combination of high normal measures in blood pressure and cholesterol could put him on a course to develop heart disease without changes to his diet and more varied exercise than playing golf.
Does He Have Heart Disease?
“After Trump’s first presidential physical, CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta reported Trump has a common form of heart disease,” the network reported in 2018. That may have been a premature diagnosis as Trump has worked on improving his cholesterol level and may have made some dietary changes so his blood pressure could be better too.
In 2018, then White House physician Ronny Jackson said that Trump was 239 pounds and about 10 to 15 pounds overweight.
Trump says he exercises “more than what people think.” The former president has also said he is healthier than people with hip or knee replacements.
No Constitutional Clauses for Old Age
The Constitution says nothing about old age requirements for president – only that one must be at least 35 to lead the country from the White House. But the framers lived in an era when life expectancy was much shorter.
Without seeing a physical done by independentnt doctors and numerous iterations of blood lab work, it is difficult to see the real story on Trump’s health. His cholesterol numbers and blood pressure may be worse than reported.
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As far as mental acuity, Nikki Haley, the former UN ambassador now running for president, wants to require presidential candidates over 75 to take a cognitive test. Trump said he has no problem with such an evaluation.
You will never see Trump admit anything is wrong with his health. When he tested positive for Covid-19, he was quick to make a public appearance to show his supporters that all was well. He is getting close to 80, though, and his risk of developing heart disease could catch up to him. However, former Vice President Dick Cheney has endured five heart attacks over his lifetime, plus a heart transplant, and he is still alive, so maybe Trump will have no problems in his old age.
Author Expertise and Experience
Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.