North America

Dry mouth? Social media reacts to Trump slurring during Jerusalem speech


Dentures loose, a medical episode or just dry mouth: what was going on with President Trump's Jerusalem speech? Watch the video and decide for yourself.

The White House has hosed down speculation over President Trump's odd delivery of a speech announcing the US would recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, saying it was just a case of "dry mouth".

But following the incident, which raised concerns about the President's health, the White House announced the President has scheduled a medical checkup for early next year and will share the results publicly.

Social media erupted over Wednesday's speech, in which the President appeared to be breathing heavily and slurring his words, garbling the traditional sign off "God bless the United Shtates". 

Some viewers speculated the president was having a medical episode, was losing his dentures, or was under the influence of drugs. 

Some also compared his signature made on an executive order following the speech with earlier signatures, with one Twitter user suggesting "something serious is going on". 

However Mr Trump appeared to have no problem immediately after the speech walking to the table to sign the order and pulling out the chair. 

President Trump frequently mocked Democratic presidential candidate opponent Hillary Clinton over health concerns, questioning her physical fitness for the top job. 

US broadcaster CNN enlisted speech pathologist Michael de Riesthal from Vanderbilt University Medical Centre for his opinion on the President's speech.

After watching the video - Professor de Riesthal has never treated the President - he said "There was definitely some imprecise progressive change in articulatory precision and slowing of his speech that is not typical in normal speech. The distortion of his articulation, though, is unknown in etiology".

However, when asked about the incident, the White House's deputy press secretary, Raj Shah, told The Los Angeles Times: "His throat was dry. There’s nothing to it."

But the following day the White House announced the President would have a medical examination at Walter Reed National Military Center early next year and publicly release the results. 

The US President traditionally publicly releases the results of an annual medical checkup while in office, but there is no law compelling it.

Mr Trump, aged 70, is the oldest president to begin his first term.

Mr Trump released some details of a physical last year after pressure following his declaration that he would be the “healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch