Dr. Harold Bornstein, the long-haired New York City physician who once said Donald Trump would be the “healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” died Friday at age 73.
His death was listed in a paid obituary Thursday in The New York Times and did not specify a cause.
“Dr. Bornstein was a force of nature who brought joy to his family, friends and everyone he encountered in life, and continues to do so in memory. He loved his wife, Melissa,” the obituary read.
After graduating from Tufts Medical School in 1975, Bornstein went into practice with his father on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. He also worked at the nearby Lenox Hill Hospital.
Bornstein counted President Trump, 74, among his patients for more than 35 years until he gave an interview to the Times disclosing that the president took Propecia, a medication that stimulates hair growth.
“He has all his hair,” Bornstein said at the time, explaining that he also takes the drug himself. “I have all my hair,” he added.
In the same interview, Bornstein said Trump also took a drug to control rosacea, another to lower his cholesterol and a daily baby aspirin to reduce the risk of heart attack.
Two days afterward, Bornstein later alleged, three men including a Trump bodyguard strong-armed their way into the doctor’s office to seize the president’s medical records. In an interview with NBC News, Bornstein called the incident a “raid” and said that it made him feel “raped, frightened and sad.”
Then-White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the seizure, which occurred shortly after Trump took office, was “standard procedure” for an incoming president.
During the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, Bornstein had grabbed headlines for releasing a brief medical report that appeared to be written in the hyperbolic style favored by Trump. The letter stated that Trump’s health was “astonishingly excellent” and his stamina was “extraordinary.”
“If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” Bornstein’s letter said. He subsequently explained that he had written the note in just five minutes.
After Trump’s victory, Bornstein gave an interview to STAT News, a medical news site, revealing a bizarrely casual attitude toward the health of the president of the United States.
“If something happens to him, then it happens to him,” Bornstein told STAT. “It’s like all the rest of us, no? That’s why we have a vice president and a speaker of the House and a whole line of people. They can just keep dying.”
Trump had drawn attention to his own health by repeatedly accusing opponent Hillary Clinton of being in poor health ― a conspiracy theory that was fueled by tabloid media aligned with Trump.
He went on to become the oldest person ever sworn in to the Oval Office.