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President Trump ‘fit for duty,’ has no cognitive issues: White House doctor

Questions have been raised about Donald Trump’s mental health for a while but got fresh impetus from a recently released tell-all book about his White House tenure that drew a picture of him repeating himself and unable to grasp issues.

world Updated: Jan 17, 2018 17:31 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
Donald Trump,US President,Cognitive issues
President Donald Trump poses for a portrait in the Oval Office in Washington.(AP File Photo)

President Donald Trump is in excellent physical and mental health, according to the presidential physician, despite his famously unhealthy diet on the campaign trail and continued neglect of exercise, which has predictably led to higher cholesterol and borderline obesity.

The president received a perfect score in the cognitive test and “he’s fit for duty…will remain fit for duty for the remainder of this term and even for the remainder of another term, if he’s elected”, said presidential physician Ronny Jackson, a rear admiral in the US navy, at a briefing Tuesday.

Questions have been raised about Trump’s mental health for a while but got fresh impetus from a recently released tell-all book about his White House tenure that drew a picture of him repeating himself and unable to grasp issues. Trump has denied all, calling himself a “very stable genius”.

Jackson said that though not required by the exam protocol or recommended, he conducted a cognitive test on the president at his insistence in the light of questions raised by critics. Trump scored a perfect 30 of 30 in the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, which is longer and more complex than others.

“There’s no indication whatsoever that he has any cognitive issues,” Jackson said, adding, “I’ve found no reason whatsoever to think the president has any issues whatsoever with his thought processes.”

He also said he found the president, whom he about three times every day, always “very sharp” and “very articulate”.

The president -- who is 71 and is six feet and three inches tall, weigh 239 pounds (108 kg) -- is borderline obese on the BMI, and his cholesterol was high. And the doctor said he would be working with the president, who is already on a light does of cholesterol reducing drug, to lower it further.

Jackson said he had recommended a diet control and exercise, but the president seemed to prefer the former — diet. A nutritionist will be brought in to recommend healthier food, but the doctor, who had also served President Barack Obama, plans to introduce the president to some fitness routines.

Asked how a man who preferred McDonalds — “two Big Macs, two fillet-o-fish and a chocolate malted” on the campaign — could be so healthy, the doctor said, conceding he was impressed too, it could be due to his “incredibly good genes”. But the fact Trump never smoked or used alcohol helped.

“The president’s overall health is excellent,” the report said in conclusion.

“His cardiac performance during his physical exam was very good. He continues to enjoy the long-term cardiac and overall health benefits that come from a lifetime of abstinence of tobacco and alcohol.”

The doctor was also impressed by Trump’s energy level, saying the president would be among the last people still standing and willing to go through the scheduled events during a punishing tour when everyone would be desperate to return to their hotels and call it a day.

First Published: Jan 17, 2018 08:18 IST