The Spin Doctors: Right Wing Physicians Are Freaking Out Over Hillary’s Nonexistent Health Problems

You may have seen that the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons is trending on Facebook. Click on that and you’ll see a page of headlines about Hillary Clinton’s health and how very concerned the doctors of the AAPS are. There’s just one catch; the group is not who you think they are.

Mother Jones, in a 2009 article drew back the sterile drape on this group. The AAPS is a conservative group of doctors with an agenda. Mother Jones said of AAPS:

“Think Glenn Beck with an MD. The group… has been around since 1943. Some of its former leaders were John Birchers, and its political philosophy comes straight out of Ayn Rand. Its general counsel is Andrew Schlafly, son of the legendary conservative activist Phyllis. The AAPS statement of principles declares that it is ‘evil’ and ‘immoral’ for physicians to participate in Medicare and Medicaid, and its journal is a repository for quackery. Its website features claims that tobacco taxes harm public health and electronic medical records are a form of ‘data control’ like that employed by the East German secret police.”

So it’s no surprise that the AAPS has been called upon by conservatives to create confusion and mistrust among voters when it comes to the Democratic nominee for president. To read the headlines, you’d think that the American Medical Association or some other legitimate physician’s association was doing the concern trolling. Most of the headlines trumpet that “most” doctors say that Hillary’s health problems are “serious” and even “disqualifying.” What they don’t tell you (apart from the disingenuousness of the AAPS itself) is that the polling involved was an “informal internet survey.”

The results are about what you’d expect for a group Mother Jones called “the Tea party’s favorite doctors.” Of the 250 doctors (we just have to take their word, as AAPS does not tell us how they made sure every respondent actually is a doctor) who responded, nearly 71% said that concerns about Hillary’s health are “Serious–could be disqualifying for the position of President of the U.S.” Only 1 said that they could be overblown. Not one percent, one respondent.

The poll consists of only 6 questions:

  • If a physician has a concern about a candidate’s fitness to serve for health reasons, what is the appropriate action?
    Are you aware of questions raised about the impact of past and current medical conditions on Hillary Clinton’s fitness to serve as President?
    What do you think of coverage of the questions by the news media?
    What is your impression about the concerns?
    Which of the following medical conditions suffered by Clinton were you aware of? (concussion, cerebral sinus thrombosis, deep venous thrombosis)
    Would any of these conditions influence your vote for President?

Are you sensing some bias there? Yeah, it’s a bit like a push poll; trying to influence answers by manipulating the questions. That the overwhelming response is, basically, “disqualify her because I know better than her own doctor” should alert any discerning reader to bias.

When you see that 88 (oh, there’s that number again!) of the respondents submitted comments like this…

  • I don’t think there is a requirement for fitness to be president, yet if it’s Hillary iot[sic] should be known.
    Have her examined by a forensic physician to see if he can find a conscience…
    Hillary has public ally[sic] obvious health issues and in recent testimony to the FBI admitted to suffering a ‘concussion with memory loss’.
    Transverse sinus thrombosis and head injury have impaired her ability to function and likely contributed to her poor judgement, along with her Marxist ideology.
    I would not have as much concern if this particular candidate did not have such a long and notorious legacy of lies and cover-ups.
    No question she has serious medical issues. However, her serious character flaws are of much greater concern
    I despise her even if this corrupt, evil anti-American creature were in good health. She is not fit to be president, let alone out of jail
    Wouldn’t vote for her if healthy as a horse.

… it’s blindingly clear that this is not about medicine. It’s about trying to tar Hillary Clinton yet again, this time by concern trolling. “Oh, dear. There is obviously something wrong even though we have never examined her and have no idea what we are talking about.” Just because they say they are doctors — and even if they are — and pretend to be worried about her, there is no way this is anything but partisanship with a stethoscope.

So, when you see the headlines screeching about “an overwhelming majority of doctors say Hillary is disqualified” due to her health, you know better. Go get ’em!

Featured Image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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