Trump did 'exceedingly well' on a cognitive test, top White House doctor says

Trump Physical
Navy Rear Adm. Ronny L. Jackson, the lead White House physician, speaks to reporters in the Brady press briefing room at the White House on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018.

WASHINGTON – President Trump requested that his first formal medical exam include a cognitive test and “did exceedingly well,” receiving a score of 30 out of 30, the top White House doctor announced Tuesday afternoon.

Navy Rear Adm. Ronny L. Jackson, who has been the lead White House doctor since 2013, said that he has interacted with the president several times a day for the last year and saw no need for a cognitive test. Jackson said that the president is “very sharp” in their conversations and does not repeat himself. He added that he has seen no evidence of any cognitive problems.

At the president’s request, Jackson said that he reviewed a number of cognitive tests and then administered the Montreal Cognitive Assessment during Trump’s first presidential physical exam on Friday afternoon at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The 10-minute exam is designed to detect mild cognitive impairment, generally in older patients. Trump answered all 30 questions correctly, Jackson said.

The test includes asking a patient to name several animals, draw a clock with the hands at a certain time, copy a cube, and recall a short list of words, among others. Jackson said he has “no indication whatsoever that he has any cognitive issues.”

“I find no reason whatsoever to think the president has any issues whatsoever with his thought process,” Jackson said.

Jackson said that based on Trump’s lab results and cardiac tests, he is “very healthy,” and that he expects the president to continue to be healthy for the rest of his term and even in a potential second term.

Undergoing this physical is voluntary, and Trump can pick and choose what the public hears about his health. Jackson said that “absolutely nothing” was being withheld from the public and that Trump’s release of information was “hands down” the broadest in history.

Trump, 71, is 6-foot-3 and weighs 239 pounds, which is considered overweight by the medical community and just short of obese, Jackson said. He said that he recommended that the president eat a healthier diet, exercise regularly, and lose 10 to 15 pounds.

The president’s weight is 3 pounds higher than it was during the campaign in September 2016, according to a letter Trump released from his personal physician in New York, Harold N. Bornstein.

That letter reported his cholesterol levels were controlled with medication and were within the healthy range for a man his age. Jackson said that Trump’s cholesterol level is now elevated, so he is increasing Trump’s medication.

Trump’s cholesterol of 223 is elevated and his low-density lipoprotein of 143 is borderline high. Jackson said he hopes to bring down the LDL or “bad cholesterol” score with diet, exercise, and statin medication.