Then-candidate Donald Trump speaks with Dr. Ben Carson, now the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, by a pool at the Mar-a-Lago Club in 2016.
Photo: Joe Raedle (Getty Images)

The president of the United States may be an infamous germophobe, but he is also an infamous cheapskate whose business ventures regularly attract the attention of health authorities. The latter of these two impulses appears to have won out by far with respect to pools at his resorts in Florida, which Quartz reported on Monday have been closed down by order of state health inspectors at least 10 times in the past year.

According to Quartz, health code violations at the Trump facilities involved were numerous and serious—mostly having to do with water quality, but also failure to comply with safety rules such as “deficient handrails and ladders”:

The violations were so serious that Trump’s Florida properties were forced to close their pools by health inspectors 10 times over the past 12 months. State records show multiple citations for violations like improper pH levels, problems with “disinfection feeders” that pump chlorine into the water, and inadequate safety features, including deficient handrails and ladders.

Improper pH and chlorine levels result in automatic closures, according to Florida regulations. They can lead to conditions that permit the spread of gastrointestinal, skin, ear, respiratory, eye, and neurologic illnesses, according to the US Centers for Disease Control.

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Specifically, Florida Department of Health records show that Trump’s crown jewel, the Mar-a-Lago resort, experienced at least five pool shutdowns over the past 12 months affecting its main, beach, and spa pools. During 17 other inspections over that time period, Quartz wrote, the pools were rated as “unsatisfactory” six times.

On Dec. 11, 2018, an inspector shut down the main pool at the Trump International Beach Resort for “violations including unsafe chlorine and pH levels; deficient handrails/ladders; improperly maintained or uncovered suction outlets, and improperly functioning flowmeters and vacuum filters,” Quartz added. Another pool was closed on almost identical grounds—except that it also had a non-compliant “disinfection feeder,” equipment that injects pool water with sterilizing chlorine. Three different spas also there also received “unsatisfactory” ratings the same day.

In June 2018, the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter saw three pool closures, with issues reported including improper chlorine levels in one pool and issues with an equipment room. The reasoning behind one of the closures is unclear, as the report says “No violation found.”

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Another Trump facility, the Trump Doral Golf Club and Resort, has 10 pools and no listed violations. But that might be because no one checked. State health database did not list any inspections over the past 12 months, despite a requirement that the state mandates such inspections twice a year, according to Quartz.

Other similarly swanky resorts in the state did not appear to have anywhere near the same rate of run-ins with health authorities. Quartz looked into records pertaining to six Florida resorts, finding that four had no violations at all over a roughly equivalent period of time. Only one, Breakers Palm Beach, had a mandatory closure—one of nine pools on its grounds on Dec. 11, 2018, with the eventual findings listed as “No violation found.”

These findings, of course, will have absolutely zero impact on Trump or his presidency, which has survived far more damaging scandals than whatever is happening in the equipment room at the Trump National Golf Club. (Well... probably.) Pools are gross as hell in general anyhow, and the Centers for Disease Control itself has on its website a 2016 report indicating most inspections of public pools find serious health code violations.

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But if you happen to be swinging by Mar-a-Lago on your way to emolument the hell out of the president, do be sure to remember to add the pool to your no-go list, alongside eating at the restaurant, climbing the stairs, or connecting to the wifi. Just walk straight past the guards, drop off your bribe and plant your bugs, and get the heck out of there before a beam falls on you or something.

[Quartz]