Donald Trump is known to be germaphobic. He’s spoken about his predilection for clean hands in numerous interviews, but now a rumor is gaining momentum that President Trump is also afraid of stairs.
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While there had been speculation for some time, a recent photograph of Donald Trump gripping the hand of Theresa May has sent it into overdrive.
Some speculated that Trump may have taken May’s hand to avoid touching the handrail, which would be a great place to pick up germs.
In The Art of the Comeback, which Donald Trump published in 1997, President Trump wrote openly about his fear of germs. “One of the curses of American society is the simple act of shaking hands, and the more successful and famous one becomes the worse this terrible custom seems to get.”
This is, for a president, a large part of the public persona. So how would President Trump combat the constant handshaking?
“I happen to be a clean hands freak. I feel much better after I thoroughly wash my hands, which I do as much as possible.”
Other are suggesting that Trump grabbed May’s hand becasue the stairs frightened him.
The BBC even characterized it like this: “Theresa May provided stability and support for the US president in his time of need.” May’s own spokespeople acknowledged the awkwardness of the moment, saying that President Trump simply put his hand out and May took it to help stabilize him.
While the fear of stairs, or “bathmophobia,” is not one of the officially sanction phobias catalogued in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, volume five (DSM-5), it is widely recognized.
Either way, Trump is a man who faces some treacherous stairs. He’s got to master the small flight into and out of numerous helicopters. He has many stairs in the White House, which would also have plenty of elevators. And then there’s the longer flight needed to board Air Force 1.
The real question at the end of this becomes why this is a story at all. Do his political opponents gain something by pointing out Trump’s irrational fear of stairs? If a fear of stairs even irrational for a man of his age?