After Trump’s physical exam on Friday Jan. 12, the White House released a statement on behalf of Dr. Ronny Jackson, M.D. — even though they misspelled his name — saying the president is “in excellent health.”
As promised, Dr. Jackson made an appearance at a 3:30 p.m. briefing Tuesday and discussed this exam in surprising detail.
The exam, Dr. Jackson said, lasted about 4 hours long and featured 12 consultants. The doctor read a summary of the results before answering press questions for just under 50 minutes — in the middle of which he assured reporters that the president “wants me up here.”
The summary included expected vitals such as his age (71 years, 7 months), height (75 inches), weight (239), blood pressure (122/74), resting heart rate (68), cholesterol (223) and even his temperature (98.4).
Dr. Jackson said that the president’s “uncorrected visual acuity was 20/30 bilaterally, with corrected visual acuity of 2/20 bilaterally” and that he had normal results for head, nose, ear, teeth and gums (we’ll get to the denture question later on, hang in there).
Trump’s thyroid was also deemed normal, he has “full range of motion in all joints” and daily, he takes a multivitamin and 10 milligrams of Crestor, a prescription medicine that helps lower “bad” cholesterol such as LDL. He also takes Propecia, a medical cream for rosacea and aspirin for cardiac health.
Trump has no history of tobacco or alcohol use, his vaccinations are up to date and he gets about 4 to 5 hours of sleep per night, which Dr. Jackson says isn’t a concern with him since “he has a lot of energy and a lot of stamina.”
In summary, Dr. Jackson said the president’s “overall health is excellent” and it will “remain so for the duration of his presidency.”
Trump’s mental fitness
Trump scored a perfect 30/30 on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), which Dr. Jackson noted is “well-respected,” extensive and screens for any type of cognitive impairment (such as Alzheimer’s).
Dr. Jackson told reporters that in terms of a cognitive assessment, he didn’t feel it was “clinically indicated,” but that the assessment was performed under Trump’s request.
When pressed about heavy skepticism over Trump’s mental fitness, the doctor said Trump felt that “doing the physical was an opportunity to put some of that to rest.” However, the White House physician said that the president “didn’t mention” any one incident that made him request the cognitive exam.
“I’ve spent almost every day with the president since last year,” Dr. Jackson, whose office is located “directly across the hall” from Trump’s private elevator, said. “I see him almost three times a day. I’ve got to know him pretty well, and I have no concerns about his mental fitness.”
In terms of next year, Dr. Jackson said if the president wants another cognitive exam, then they will administer one. “I didn’t feel it was clinically indicated on this round,” he reiterated. “If I have any indication I have to do a cognitive exam [next year], then I will recommend that.”
This, Dr. Jackson stated, rules out the need to do any other cognitive assessment at this time.
In terms of physicians coming forward publicly with their diagnoses and opinions about Trump’s mental state, the doctor said that “people shouldn’t be making those assessments” unless they have actually treated him.
What about the president repeating himself?
In terms of recent allegations that Trump repeats himself — as revealed in Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” — Dr. Jackson said that on a day-to-day basis, “he’s very articulate when he speaks to me, he doesn’t repeat himself around me.”
“I’ve found no reason whatsoever to think the president has any issues whatsoever with his thought processes,” he continued.
What about his slurred speech?
When asked about Trump’s slurred speech, Dr. Jackson said that him and his ENT consultants “checked everything out” and that they even did an ultrasound.
While many people said that dentures could be to blame for slurred speech, Dr. Jackson said that the president “doesn’t have dentures of any kind.”
He recalled that the president was on Sudafed days leading up to the Dec. 6 speech where he discussed moving our embassy and appeared to slur his words.
Trump announces that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and all hell breaks loose between his tongue and teeth. #DentureDonald
Full episode: https://t.co/DJZoI9j8Yo pic.twitter.com/nCciSWuJJ1
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) December 7, 2017
Because of the Sudafed, Dr. Jackson said — as Sarah Huckabee Sanders has before — Trump’s throat was “dried up.” (He proceeded to make a joke about needing some water.)
“I can reliably say that if he had some type of mental cognitive issue, he would not have had 30/30 on the test,” Dr. Jackson repeated, referencing the MoCA exam. “[He has] no cognitive and mental issues whatsoever, he’s very sharp.”
Is Dr. Jackson withholding any information?
Trump had to sign off on the information Dr. Jackson disclosed at Tuesday’s briefing, and the physician said that there’s “absolutely nothing” he’s withholding. He continued on to say that “this is more information he’s put forth” from any assessment to date.
“There’s nothing at all that’s concerning to me,” the doctor stated. “And there’s nothing that the president said I shouldn’t say.”
Tips for Trump
Dr. Jackson did say he’ll be focusing on diet and exercise with the president. He’ll be working with the white house chefs — who he say are cooking Trump better meals than McDonald’s — to make sure Trump is en route to losing 10 to 15 pounds over the next year.
In terms of an exercise routine, Dr. Jackson discussed low-impact aerobics that will “spare his joints.” (He even said there is a certain amount of exercise in golf).
Dr. Jackson also said that Trump’s daily dose of cholesterol medicine is low, and he would consider putting him on a larger dose.
When pressed about Trump’s unhealthy eating habits (12 Diet Cokes per day and copious amounts of fast food), Dr. Jackson said, “I don’t think he does that anymore,” but assured reporters that he (along with the first lady) would be encouraging him to eat healthier meals.
He went on to say that, despite this, “his health is excellent” and “some people just have great genes.”
“Absolutely fit for duty”
“Based on cardiac assessment, there’s no question he’s in the excellent range for a normal 71-year-old,” Dr. Jackson said. “We’re looking at his vascular health overall.”
On Trump’s own time, they will conduct a baseline hearing test, which they didn’t get to on Friday, and Dr. Jackson noted that a colonoscopy was deferred until the next exam (Trump’s last one was in 2013).
“In summary, the president’s overall health is excellent,” Dr. Jackson told reporters. “He continues to enjoy the significant long-term cardiac and overall health benefits that come from a lifetime of abstinence from tobacco and alcohol.”
When it comes down to Dr. Jackson’s assessment, Trump is “absolutely fit for duty.”