Reforms in how the nation monitors the health of its president are long overdue. President Trump’s unprecedented illness, and the confusion around his diagnosis and the state of his health make it clear that our current system is flawed.
Plenty of presidents have gotten sick, and plenty have kept it secret, some even when their illness impaired their ability to govern. Woodrow Wilson had a stroke that rendered him incapable of governing for the last 18 months of his presidency. His wife effectively became Commander in Chief. Americans never knew.
FDR never revealed his polio-induced paralysis. He also kept secret the long-standing high blood pressure that damaged his heart and left him a sick, physically compromised man in his 1945 meetings in Yalta, where the allies divided up the post-war world.