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A lot has changed since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was able hide his paralysis from the public early in the 20th Century. Ronald Reagan, then the oldest person to assume the presidency, waived doctor-patient confidentiality, allowing his physicians to talk to the media about his mental fitness. Today, it is commonplace for presidents and other top elected officials to update the public on their health.

In Georgia, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson announced in 2015 that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’ diseases. The public supports this transparency. A 2020 Rasmussen poll found that 86 percent of likely U.S. voters rate a candidate’s health as important to their vote. Reporting on candidates’ backgrounds is part of the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s commitment to providing voters the information they need to make informed choices in this year’s elections.