WASHINGTON    -   In what may prove a shock to doctors, Donald Trump has claimed kidneys have “a very special place in the heart”.

The comment came amid a rambling and sometimes incoherent speech about the human organs ahead of signing an executive order directing his government to develop policies addressing kidney-related health issues in Americans.

“You’ve worked so hard on these things, you’ve worked so hard on the kidney, very special, the kidney has a very special place in the heart, it’s an incredible thing,” Mr Trump said on Wednesday at the International Trade Centre in Washington DC. “People that have to go this. people have loved ones that are working so hard to stay alive, they have to work so hard. There’s an esprit de corps spirit, like you see rarely on anything, so I just want to thank all you folks for being here, it’s really fantastic, and it’s truly an exciting day for advancing kidney health in our country.”  According to the NHS, the kidneys, which filter waste out of the body, are actually located at the back of the body below the ribs. Despite Trump’s sometimes niche views on health, he was likely using an unusual turn of phrase to highlight the importance of the kidneys rather than actually claiming they are physically located in the heart.

Joe Grogan, head of the White House’s Domestic Policy Council, said kidney disease, the ninth-leading cause of death in America, costs US taxpayers $110bn every year – more than the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Homeland Security and Nasa combined.

According to the “All about kidneys” section of the National Kidney Foundation website, the kidneys – most people are born with two – “are in your lower back”. The human heart meanwhile, as per an ABC News explainer: “Is in middle of your chest, in between your right and left lung. It is, however, tilted slightly to the left.” It is likely Trump does not actually believe the kidney(s) is/are situated inside the heart, within the chest. The president may, in his idiosyncratic phrasing, have been stressing the importance of a healthy kidney to the American populace.

Trump’s medical views are worthy of consideration, however, as he is no stranger to health complaints. The president was afflicted by bone spurs in both heels during the Vietnam war draft, which meant he avoided military service. In 2016, Trump said the bone spurs had later healed.