Dr. Harold Bornstein has caused a firestorm of controversy after describing a “raid’ of his office by Trump’s longtime personal bodyguard, a top lawyer at the Trump Organization, and an unidentified third man. Bornstein said that he felt “raped, frightened and sad” from the encounter. Bornstein’s description however not only conflicts with the description of the Trump aides but stains credulity. It is common for newly elected presidents to have such records collected. Moreover, Bornstein in my view showed appalling judgment in disclosing a medication used by his former client. In the meantime, Bornstein has struck back by disclosing that he did not write his controversial letter during the campaign declaring Trump’s health as “astonishingly excellent” and his “physical strength and stamina are extraordinary.” He now says that Trump dictated the letter to him.
Bornstein’s attack over the letter, if true, damages both him and his patient. If true, Bornstein lied in September 2016 when he expressly assured the media that he did write the letter and simply said “I was just rushed for time. I had people to see.” In fact, Trump appears to have been more honest on the issue than Bornstein. At the time, he admitted that he suggested glowing language and Bornstein may have just written it down.
My greatest concern with Bornstein was his disclosure to the New York Times that Trump takes Propecia, a drug for enlarged prostates that is often prescribed to stimulate hair growth in men. He also said that Trump uses drugs for rosacea and cholesterol. He later expressed disbelief that anyone would object to his casual discussion of a client’s prescriptions and treatment. He asked “what’s the matter with that?” The answer is “a lot.” It appears a clear violation of medical ethics and disclosure rules. I find Bornstein’s conduct to be disgraceful if these disclosures were not made with his client’s consent. It does not matter if Bornstein considers such prescriptions or conditions to be trivial. It is not his choice to make.
In other words, I would have taken these files regardless of past practices because of Bornstein’s past disclosures.
Bornstein’s description of his role as a “slave” only further undermines his credibility. Frankly, I remain astonished that Trump surrounds himself with such seemingly unhinged individuals but it is hard not to view Bornstein as an example of poor judgment in such associations. That does not excuse Bornstein’s conduct, but it begs the question of why, in a city full of top doctors, Trump ended up with this one.