- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 1, 2018

President Trump’s doctors are causing quite a headache.

The downfall of White House physician Ronny Jackson triggered another political pain to flare up Tuesday when Dr. Harold Bornstein, Mr. Trump’s former doctor in New York City who feels scorned, complained on network television that the president’s aides mistreated him as they parted ways last year.

Dr. Bornstein, who blew his own remote chance of becoming White House physician when he revealed shortly after the inauguration that Mr. Trump takes Propecia for hair loss, told NBC News that three men barged into his office in February 2017 and confiscated all of the president’s medical records.

In a scene reminiscent of the Grinch encountering Cindy Lou Who, they even told the doctor to take the framed photograph of himself with Mr. Trump off the wall.

“I feel raped, frightened and sad,” Dr. Bornstein said, looking downcast for the TV camera.

The three men were Keith Schiller, Mr. Trump’s longtime security aide; Trump Organization Chief Legal Officer Alan Garten; and an unidentified “large man.” At the time, Mr. Schiller was serving as director of Oval Office operations at the White House.

The men arrived at Dr. Bornstein’s Park Avenue office in Manhattan on the morning of Feb. 3, 2017, two days after the doctor told The New York Times that Mr. Trump takes Propecia as well as drugs for high cholesterol and the skin-reddening disease rosacea.

When Mr. Trump was elected, Dr. Bornstein had confided to longtime Trump assistant Rhona Graff, “You know, I should be the White House physician.”

But after Dr. Bornstein revealed the personal details about Mr. Trump’s health, he said Ms. Graff called him on the phone and informed him, “So you wanted to be the White House doctor? Forget it, you’re out.”

He described the subsequent office visit by Mr. Trump’s associates as a “raid.”

“They must have been here for 25 or 30 minutes. It created a lot of chaos,” Dr. Bornstein told the network. “I couldn’t believe anybody was making a big deal about a drug that’s to grow his hair, which seemed to be so important what’s the matter with that?”

He told CNN that the men “terrified” his secretary.

“How would you feel if you cared for someone for 35 years, they came and robbed your office?” the doctor said.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that it’s accepted practice for a new president to take his medical records with him to Washington.

“As is standard operating procedure for a new president, the White House medical unit took possession of the president’s medical records,” Mrs. Sanders said.

Asked about Dr. Bornstein’s characterization of a “raid,” Mrs. Sanders replied “that is not my understanding” of what happened.

The carting off of Mr. Trump’s medical files raised accusations on social media of a “burglary” by “thugs.” Dr. Eugene Gu, a resident at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center who is suing Mr. Trump for blocking him on Twitter, said Dr. Bornstein “violated doctor-patient confidentiality when he told the media he ‘prescribed a hair growth medicine to Trump for years.’ “

“But Trump thuggishly broke the law when he got his men to raid Bornstein’s office,” said Dr. Gu, who occasionally writes columns and heads a biotech firm exploring fetal-tissue research.

The NBC report said the unscheduled visit to Dr. Bornstein’s office might have violated privacy protections that are part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

Dr. Bornstein, a gastroenterologist who’s been described as “offbeat,” had been Mr. Trump’s physician since 1980. He first came to the public’s attention in August 2016 when he released a letter stating that candidate Trump was in “astonishingly excellent” shape.

“If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” Dr. Bornstein wrote of the 70-year-old GOP nominee.

The gushing evaluation was similar to that given by Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, who served as White House physician until the president nominated him last month to become secretary of Veterans Affairs.

“Some people have just great genes,” Dr. Jackson said. “I told the president that if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years, he might live to be 200 years old.”

But perhaps not if his doctors keep stressing him out.

The president made Dr. Jackson his surprise choice to lead the VA last month. But the nomination quickly died after Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana released a list of purported transgressions by the nominee, including overprescribing medication and creating a hostile work environment.

Dr. Jackson has denied the accusations but withdrew his name from consideration, leaving the government’s second-largest agency still without a permanent leader. He is still assigned to the White House but is not serving as Mr. Trump’s personal physician.

The fall from grace of Dr. Jackson has served as a mood enhancer for Dr. Bornstein, who coveted the White House job.

“This is like a celebration for me,” Dr. Bornstein said.

As for Dr. Jackson, he appears to be in a sort of practicing-physician limbo where the president is concerned. Dr. Sean Conley, a former Navy officer, has taken over as the president’s personal doctor.

Dr. Jackson continues to be an active-duty Navy doctor that’s assigned here at the White House where there are a number of doctors that are part of the White House Medical Unit,” Mrs. Sanders said.

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