Donald Trump has shown no abnormal signs following a cognitive test and is in “excellent” health, the White House physician said after the 71-year-old US president underwent his first medical check-up amidst speculation about his mental abilities.
“I have no concerns about his cognitive ability or neurological functions,” Navy Rear Adm Dr Ronny Jackson told reporters at an extraordinary press conference at the White House yesterday after Trump’s first physical examination as US president.
The medical examination took place amid questions about his mental fitness for office, spurred by the publication of a damaging book that suggested Trump’s own aides worry about his stability.
“All clinical data indicates that the president is currently very healthy, and that he will remain so for the duration of his presidency… the president’s overall health is excellent,” said Jackson.
Jackson said the three-hour examination of Trump conducted by military doctors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, on Friday had gone “exceptionally well”.
Jackson said that Trump asked him to conduct a cognitive test on him, even though it was not required by law.
“A cognitive screening exam using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment was normal, with a score of 30 over 30,” he said.
This exam is conducted in older patients for cognitive disorders like Alzheimer disease.
“There is no indication whatsoever that he has any cognitive issues. And, on a day-to-day basis it has been my experience that the president — is very sharp, he is very articulate when he speaks to me. And, I have never known him to repeat himself around me,” Jackson said.
Asked about a much-discussed episode in which the president seemed to slur his words during a televised speech in December about the Middle East, Jackson said it might had been caused by Sudafed, a medicine for nasal congestion.
In response to speculation that the president has mental health problems, Jackson said, “In my opinion, that’s just tabloid psychiatry.”
Trump attempted to clarify matters about his mental abilities by tweeting that he was a “very stable genius”.
The doctor also said Trump showed “excellent cardiac results … from a stress test” performed on the president last week.
Jackson said that Trump, who weighs 108 kgs and stands 6 feet 3 inches tall, “would like to lose … 10 to 15 pounds.”
At his weight and height, the president is borderline obese.
“The president has acknowledged he’d be healthier if he lost a few pounds,” Jackson said.
“He continues to enjoy the significant long-term cardiac and overall health benefits that come from a lifetime of abstinence from tobacco and alcohol,” he said.
Based on the blood profile and other health parameters, Jackson said he has recommended diet and exercise plan for the president for weight loss.
Jackson said Trump has agreed to get rid of 4.5-6 kg of body fat in the next one year by combining diet, exercise and medication.
“He has a history of elevated cholesterol, and is currently on a low dose of Crestor. In order to further reduce his cholesterol level and further decreases his cardiac risk, we will increase the dose of this particular medication,” Jackson said.
Apart from this, Trump has no problems in vision, head, ears, nose, and throat.
When a reporter asked him how Trump managed to be in such good health despite eating junk food and taking diet coke, the doctor attributed this to his genes.
“It’s called genetics. Some people have just great genes. You know, I told the president that if he had healthier diet over the last 20 years, he might live to be 200 years old. He has incredible genes I just assume,” Jackson said.
He said that while Trump “doesn’t have a daily exercise regiment,” Trump “has a lot of energy, a lot of stamina.”
“I’ve never seen the president stressed out about too much. I would just assume has led to some of his success over the years, he has a very unique ability to just get up in the morning and reset,” the doctor said.
“I would say he sleeps four to five hours a night, and he’s probably been that way his whole life. That’s probably one of the reasons why he’s been successful,” the doctor said.
The White House chefs, Jackson said, are now cooking for him a much healthier diet.
Overall, Jackson said he was impressed by the president’s health, saying tests revealed no evidence of cancer, lung problems, diabetes or joint problems. Tests of the liver, kidney and thyroid were all normal.