As if the situation surrounding Donald Trump‘s case of the coronavirus couldn’t get any less predictable, it turns out that the president’s personal physician — who’s been under fire for telling apparent lies (go figure) — graduated from the same medical school from which Dr. Umar Johnson earned his much-maligned doctorate.
That fact was an interesting twist to an already convoluted story centered on Dr. Sean Conley, who has given the media conflicting reports about Trump’s treatment (in other words, he lied) and has been accused of following the White House’s script to paint an optimistic picture of the president’s health that admittedly wasn’t completely accurate.
While the fact that Conley and Umar Johnson both graduated from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine is one tie that binds the two, the doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) and his weekend of lying bore similarities to his doctor of clinical psychology counterpart, who has also been accused of telling lies — albeit their lies having different degrees of urgency. (Yes, that’s right, the president’s physician is not an M.D., or medical doctor.)
Conley admitted Sunday to lying a day before when he downplayed Trump’s health prognosis “to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, that his course of illness has had.” Conley explained to reporters that he lied because he “didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction.”
Johnson, for is part, never really lied, per se, as much as just flat-out misrepresented himself as a “doctor” for years before earning his PhD in 2012. However, he’s been accused of lying about raising money to purportedly build a school for Black boys. He’s reportedly helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars (other rumors say as much as $1 million) in donations for the construction of a school that he seemingly never intended to build. For the record, he has insisted otherwise, as shown during the epic episode of NewsOne Now with Roland Martin from two summers ago.
Black Enterprise reported in 2014 that Johnson launched an initiative to fund an all-Black boys school. At the time, Johnson said he was gaming to raise $5 million to buy “St. Paul’s College, an HBCU in Lawrenceville, Virginia, and convert it into a boarding school for young African American boys.”
Five years later, Johnson announced in a video that he had finally raised the funds to buy property in Wilmington, Delaware, to house the Frederick Douglas Marcus Garvey Academy (FDMG).
However, Johnson said in a Labor Day video that he still needed money for the “renovation” of FDMG Academy. He said he already has “the architectural plan” but still needs money to pay for “the electrician and HVAC and the fire alarm and the sprinkler company.”
Conley, for his part, came under scrutiny in May for treating Trump with the drug hydroxychloroquine purportedly as a preventive measure against contracting the coronavirus despite medical studies suggesting the anti-malaria medication could be fatal and futile against Covid-19.
Still, Conley said at the time, he and Trump “concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.”
Five months later Trump is battling the coronavirus without any true indication of how severe it is — both are no thanks to Conley — and Johnson’s school for Black boys remains unbuilt.