Two former Obama staffers are defending White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson amid conspiracy theories that he gave false information about Donald Trump’s weight after the president’s routine physical exam last week.
Jackson was appointed to his role by former President Barack Obama in 2013.
Alyssa Mastromonaco, who served as Obama’s former deputy chief of staff for operations, and Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to Obama, described the White House doctor in tweets as a “saint and a patriot” who “took great care of all of us for many years.”
Their messages come as some Twitter users have launched a “girther” movement — a play on the Trump-led “birther” movement that questioned Obama’s citizenship — speculating that the president actually weighs more than Jackson let on.
god bless dr ronny jackson— alyssa mastromonaco (@AlyssaMastro44) January 16, 2018
there is no one better than ronny. no one. he is a saint and patriot. https://t.co/rMTFZTdP2s— alyssa mastromonaco (@AlyssaMastro44) January 16, 2018
Dr. Jackson is a phenomenal doctor and a really great guy. He and his team took great care of all of us for many years— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) January 16, 2018
Dr. Ronny Jackson has been the Presidential physician since 2013. Give the conspiracy theories a rest. pic.twitter.com/YvwsNd7byh— Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) January 16, 2018
Reminder: Dr. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician who evaluated Trump, is a holdover who was also Obama's White House doctor and enjoyed Obama's trust— Josh Lederman (@joshledermanAP) January 16, 2018
I see a lot of really sad conspiracy theories popping up attacking the Presidential Physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson. His role is non-partisan, he was President Obama’s doctor too and the attacks being made on his credibility are entirely inappropriate.— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) January 16, 2018
During a White House briefing on Tuesday, Jackson said that Trump is 6-ft. 3-in. and weighs 239 lbs — one pound shy of being considered obese, according to the body mass index, which measures obesity by dividing a person’s weight by the square of their height.
Though Jackson said the president is in “excellent health,” the doctor also recommended that Trump lose 10 to 15 lbs. in the next year.
As Vox notes, BMI is an imperfect measure of obesity and health. But that didn’t stop critics from airing their suspicions over Trump’s close proximity to obesity status.
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, for example, tweeted that he would give $100,000 to Trump’s favorite charity if the president would step on a scale in front of “an impartial medical professional.” Gunn later responded to allegations that he was “fat-shaming” the president, arguing that his tweet was aimed at “a pattern of lying” and was not about Trump’s weight.
Yes, I offered 100k for Trump to step on a legitimate scale. Now the Trumpites are out in droves claiming I'm fat-shaming (again, it's about a pattern of lying, not about weight). I wish you guys were there while Trump was calling Rosie a "fat pig" or Alicia Machado "Miss Piggy."— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) January 17, 2018
So Dr. Ronny Jackson says Trump is 6' 3" & 239lbs— Alexander "Stable Genius" Hamilton (@AHamiltonSpirit) January 17, 2018
That makes his BMI 29.9
These are the BMI classifications
Normal weight: BMI is 18.5 to 24.9
Overweight: BMI is 25 to 29.9
Obese: BMI is 30 or more
Seems to me like they lied just enough so Trump wouldn't be considered obese.????
The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman noted that past physicals put Trump at 6’2?, which would nudge his BMI from overweight to obese.
Reminder that earlier physicals decades ago put Trump height at 6’2”. The 6’3” height makes a difference on his BMI from overweight to obese https://t.co/iHIsJjustT— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 16, 2018
Dr. Ronny Jackson is lying when he says Trump’s BMI is under 30. Andrew Luck: Ht. 6’4” Wt. 240lbs BMI: 29.2— Hale-to-the-thief (@doctagee) January 17, 2018
Trump: Ht. 6’3 Wt:239 BMI: 29.8 pic.twitter.com/yoK1IILwNC
Others argued their point by comparing Trump to top athletes of similar heights and weights.
Sports Illustrated also compiled several other Trump vs. athlete visual comparisons.