What do you look for most in a U.S. President? Is drinking from a glass of water with one hand high on your list? Well, then can you check that item off for U.S. President Donald Trump? After all, during his re-election campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last night, he made it a point to show that he was up to the task .
If you want video proof, here it is:
As you can see, he takes the glass with one hand, lifts it up to his mouth, and drinks from it, the glass, that is, and not his hand. Presumably, no CGI or stunt doubles needed. Exciting stuff.
If you want audio proof, just replay the video with the volume turned up and look off to another direction. And listen to the cheers when he successfully takes a sip. It’s not every day that you get cheers when drinking from a glass of water. Nevertheless, Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA 33rd District) did get over 190K likes for this tweet:
Voters, that’s two sips, count them, before throwing down the glass. And perhaps actor Henry Winkler is tossing his glass into the ring:
Why did Trump spend over two minutes on this topic when there are so many other issues to discuss such as the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, his plans on how to respond to this pandemic as it continues, the protests, and race relations in the U.S.? Well, Trump’s drinking exhibition, just like the Super Bowl, had a lead-in, a pre-game analysis. Trump indicated that he was responding to what some people have pointed out: Trump used two hands to drink from a glass at the West Point Commencement a week prior. Here is an example:
OK, that video didn’t exactly show someone who “cannot lift his right arm up enough to drink a glass of water.” Nevertheless, such observations did draw a fair amount of attention. And it clearly got Trump’s attention.
If you recall, that day Trump also had an encounter with a ramp, which then ramped up social media chatter using the hashtag #RampGate. Who knew that inanimate objects could garner so much attention? As I described previously for Forbes, Trump took a bit of time going down a ramp after his speech at the West Point Commencement. Some on social media suggested that Trump’s June 13 encounters with both inanimate objects suggested that he was having some type of health issue, cognitive decline, or both.
During Saturday’s campaign rally, Trump chafed at such suggestions and offered his explanation for why he drank water at West Point the way that he did. He mentioned that he didn’t want to wet his necktie and simply wanted to wet his lips a little bit. He also mentioned something about the Sun pouring down on him. He presumably meant the Sun’s rays, since the actual Sun pouring down would be rather problematic for all of humanity. If you want to hear about Trump’s wet lips, watch the video above from the Tulsa campaign rally.
There you have it, two sides of the water-gate, so to speak. So what did Trump’s water demo prove? What do any of the following videos prove:
In the words of the song “War,” absolutely nothing.
There are many possible reasons why Trump used two hands to drink water on those different occasions. As with the ramp situation, he didn’t really seem to struggle that much. Sure, various medical conditions such as neurological or musculoskeletal issues could make it more difficult to hold and drink a glass of water. But Trump’s explanations were certainly very plausible or he could simply be very awkward at drinking water. After all, no one is great or the best at everything. As I have indicated before, you can’t diagnose a medical condition from afar, unless it’s something obvious like a ferret sitting on your head. Instead, you need to directly interview the patient (and the ferret, if applicable), review the patient’s history, do a physical exam, and perhaps conduct some tests before coming up with possible diagnoses.
At the same time, Trump’s demonstration does not rule out anything either. Many health conditions, such as cardiovascular and neurological issues, can wax and wane. A person can feel better and better perform certain tasks at one moment. Yet struggle at another moment. Depending on the condition, medications may help mask or reduce symptoms as well. Moreover, some conditions can cause symptoms that are subtle and only really manifest when a person is not concentrating on a given task. People can compensate for long periods of time for deficiencies. They can even overcompensate.
Trump’s demonstration at the Tulsa rally simply showed that he could drink water with one hand when focused on the task at that moment and under those specific conditions. It’s not clear what may be occurring the rest of the time.
Ultimately, ruling in or out most medical conditions is about what happens over time. Is a symptom or issue a consistent occurrence? Is it getting worse? What triggers it?
Everyone has had some kind of unexplained symptom or issue at some point in their lives. The leg that mysteriously jumps. The unexplained dizziness. The tingling sensation. The large amount of drool. One time or very occasional occurrences of such symptoms could simply be isolated incidences. Or perhaps they are linked to something that would trigger such a reaction in many other people such a BTS appearance. Who knows, maybe Trump finds it more difficult to concentrate or drink whenever he hears the song “Boy with Luv.”
Now that would be something to look for in a President.