Throughout his campaign, President Trump repeatedly attempted to sway voters away from Hillary Clinton by calling her physical health and stamina into question. Now, people are starting to question whether he is in good enough shape to weather the presidency.
In a report released on Monday, which detailed the various ways that Trump could lose his spot in the Oval Office, The New Yorker called into question the president’s physical health — particularly his disdain for exercise — and questioned his ability to continue to do his job.
After pointing out the fact that he rarely sleeps — how else would he tweet at 3 a.m.? — and enjoys fatty foods like steak and items from McDonald’s, The New Yorker also shared the president’s odd position on exercise.
Aside from golf, which we all knew he enjoyed, Trump reportedly “considers exercise misguided” and has argued that “a person, like a battery, is born with a finite amount of energy.”
Is there any science to support the president’s exercise theories? Probably not. Then again, when has Trump ever cared about science?
The New Yorker went on to suggest that if Trump’s physical health fails — perhaps as a result of his poor diet, refusal to exercise, and the overall stress that comes with running a country — he might be required to give up his throne.
The chances of this happening are slim, as is acknowledged in the report. Unless Trump actually dies as a result of his poor health, the only chance of removing him would rest on an interpretation of Section 4 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment. Under this amendment, a president can be removed from office if they are deemed “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
An assessment of the president’s ability to “discharge the powers and duties of his office” can be made either by the Vice President and a majority of the cabinet, or by a congressionally appointed body, such as a group of medical experts. If the president objects, Congress then has three weeks to debate and make a decision.
A number of experts have also suggested that the Twenty-fifth Amendment could be invoked as a result of the president’s questionable mental health. A petition was even started earlier this year — and has since been signed by more than 50,000 mental health professionals — claiming that Trump “manifests a serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of President of the United States.”
Laurence Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard, told The New Yorker that “invoking Section 4 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment is … an entirely plausible tool.”
He went on to say that, as he interprets the amendment, it rests on “a commonsense understanding” of what it means for a president to be “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” That inability could be manifested in different ways, including, possibly, a president’s poor physical or mental well-being.
Despite Tribe’s argument, it still seems unlikely at this time that Trump will be removed from office as a result of poor physical or mental health. However, it was also highly unlikely that he would make it to the White House in the first place. At this point, anything is possible.
Featured image via Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images.