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Age and Health on the Ballot

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Donald Trump is the oldest person ever elected president. If Joe Biden wins in November he will break Trump’s record.

Both men are in their seventies, and this week their health re-emerged in the presidential race in major ways.

First, we learned from a forthcoming book by my colleague Michael Schmidt, that when Donald Trump made his mysterious, unscheduled visit to Walter Reed military hospital last fall, Vice President Mike Pence was put on standby to assume the presidency.

As Schmidt wrote:

“In reporting for this book, I learned that in the hours leading up to Trump’s trip to the hospital, word went out in the West Wing for the vice president to be on standby to take over the powers of the presidency temporarily if Trump had to undergo a procedure that would have required him to be anesthetized.”

This was apparently not necessary, but we still don’t know the reason for the visit. At the time, the White House said that Trump was getting a head start on his annual physical, but that never made sense. Mike Pence said that he didn’t recall being put on standby on that particular day, as if that was a thing one would forget. He said he was always on standby to replace the boss.

What medical need could the president have had that........

© The New York Times

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