A Navy officer carrying the football in his right hand
President Trump’s hospitalization after testing positive for Covid-19 is one of many instances in which the performance of the nation’s chief executive has been impaired by medical issues.
Eisenhower had a massive heart attack in 1955. His successor, John F. Kennedy, was afflicted by Addison’s disease and various other maladies that required heavy use of painkillers. Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, was hospitalized during the Hong Kong flu pandemic of 1968.
Other presidents have seen their performance compromised by psychological issues. Richard Nixon became clinically depressed during the Watergate controversy and took to drinking heavily. Ronald Reagan may have exhibited early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease during the closing years of his presidency.