President-Elect Donald Trump today announced his choice to lead the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition—Eddie Johnson, 42, a semiretired drywall installer from Battle Creek, Michigan.
In choosing Johnson, Mr. Trump has once again bucked convention, turning to the private sector and selecting a relatively unknown figure for a leadership role.
"Mr. Johnson is a superb choice to lead the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition," the Trump transition team said in a written statement. "We have every confidence that he will use his keen insight into the lives of ordinary Americans and his considerable energy reserves to Make America Healthy Again."
"#MAHA," it added.
According to its official website, the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition "engages, educates, and empowers all Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and good nutrition."
Little is known about Mr. Johnson's bona fides, though the Trump team's statement did highlight the fact that the father of three "is a lifelong fan of televised sports" and noted his "diligent attendance of his high school's health class." That latter claim could not be independently verified.
President-Elect Trump weighed in on Twitter, giving the nation's soon-to-be fitness czar a strong endorsement:
An examination of Mr. Johnson's own social media accounts yields a few clues as to how he might lead the Council.
In one Facebook post, Mr. Johnson rails against news that Olive Garden is doing away with unlimited breadsticks. That news turned out to be bogus.
In another, he calls First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" initiative "a bunch of libtard B.S." and blasts her for ordering the Navy to stop serving fried foods to U.S. sailors, alluding to another fabricated news story.
Several of Mr. Johnson's comments and posts are directed at a cousin who is an avid marathon runner, warning her that she is "ruining" her knees, risking arthritis, and likely to drop dead while running, "like Jim Fix (sic)."
Addressing the epidemic of childhood obesity, Mr. Johnson appears to blame not inactivity, sugary soda, or caloric imbalance, but declining religiosity.
"1950's—Lord's Prayer in schools, kids healthy; 2015—Liberals BAN GOD from school, kids fat," reads a meme that Mr. Johnson shared and liked. "FUNNY HOW THAT WORKS."
Mr. Johnson could not be reached for comment.
"He's not here," said a woman who answered the phone at Mr. Johnson's residence. "Drove down to the corner for a pack of smokes."