Remember when “greatly trusted” Trump source Alex Jones diagnosed Hillary Clinton with Parkinson’s Disease? And how every teabagger site in the nation launched their own “Sick Hillary” medical claims? Keep that in mind when you read this admittedly far-fetched speculation from New Republic. An excerpt:
The symptoms of neurosyphilis are protean, varying widely from one individual to another. Commonly recognized symptoms include irritability, loss of ability to concentrate, delusional thinking, and grandiosity. Memory, insight, and judgment can become impaired. Insomnia may occur. Visual problems may develop, including the inability of pupils to react to the light. This, along other ocular pathology, can result in photophobia, dimming of vision, and squinting. All of these things have been observed in Trump. Dementia, headaches, gait disturbances, and patchy hair loss can also be seen in later stages of syphilis.
Does Trump suffer from this condition? I cannot, of course, establish this diagnosis from a distance. There’s a great deal of information I don’t have access to, which could be critical in reaching the correct conclusion. In Trump’s case, there are many diagnostic possibilities, and we have very little background information because the slim medical summary he released was vague, unverifiable, and possibly outdated.
Given the limited information available, neurosyphilis belongs in the differential diagnosis. We know Trump was potentially exposed to syphilis based on his own statements that he was sexually promiscuous in the 1980s, a period when syphilis cases were rapidly increasing in the U.S. “I’ve been so lucky in terms of that whole world,” he told Howard Stern in 1997, referring to his dating life the decade prior. “It is a dangerous world out there—it’s scary, like Vietnam. Sort of like the Vietnam era. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave solider.”