Concerns over the health of President Donald Trump were dismissed Thursday by the White House, a day after he slurred his words while announcing a policy shift concerning Israel.
Trump’s trouble with a some phrases came during the announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
White House spokesman Raj Shah told reporters who questioned Trump’s health immediately after the announcement that Trump’s “throat was dry. There's nothing to it.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday told reporters the same thing – that he was suffering from dry mouth – and that their questions about his health were “frankly, pretty ridiculous.”
The notably slurred speech came as he was ending his comments, and was so pronounced it launched speculation that he was suffering from a more serious condition than dry mouth.
Sanders did acknowledge that the president would undergo a physical exam early next year at Walter Reed Hospital, a routine exam that sitting presidents often do, and that the results of that examination will be released by his doctors.
It is not the first time Trump has had some trouble during a speech. In November during a televised speech about his trip to Asia, Trump appeared to have trouble breathing. He stopped his speech to drink water from a bottle.
During the presidential campaign, social media was quick to weigh in when Trump continually sniffed and seemed to breathe heavily during the second debate with Hillary Clinton. He later denied having any respiratory issues.
When questions about Trump’s health were raised during the campaign, his physician, Dr. Harold Bornstein, released a letter that said, in part: "Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency." Trump, at 70 when he won the election in November 2016, was the oldest person ever elected president of the United States.
Social media users have speculated that Trump wears false teeth and that his dentures may be slipping, causing slurred speech. The hashtag #DentureDonald was trending on Twitter for a while on Wednesday.
Ill-fitting dentures are likely a good bet for the slurred speech, according to a story from CNN. Speech-language pathologist Michael de Riesthal said it appeared Trump’s problems were the result of "having a denture fall or some other alternative explanation" related to dental devices.
According to WebMD, there are at least 46 conditions that can lead to slurred speech and confusion. Among them, stroke, hypoglycemia, dehydration, low blood sugar, transient ischemic attack (or a “mini stroke”), B12 deficiency and Alzheimer’s disease.
The president’s father, Frank Trump, had Alzheimer’s disease.
Trump’s speech was fodder for late-night comedians made light of the mispronounced words.
Trump announces that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and all hell breaks loose between his tongue and teeth. #DentureDonald— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) December 7, 2017
Full episode: https://t.co/DJZoI9j8Yo pic.twitter.com/nCciSWuJJ1