White House doctor: "No concerns" about Trump's cognitive health

Joann Johnston
January 21, 2018

President Donald Trump asked the White House doctor to perform a cognitive exam during his physical last week, despite the doctor's determination that such testing wasn't necessary.

Trump's physician - Navy doctor Ronny Jackson - says the president achieved a ideal score on the test, which was included in last Friday's medical checkup.

Jackson came under fire for saying that Trump is in "excellent" health while some of the numbers provided by the White House in the summary of Trump's physical told a different story.

The physical comes after months of speculation about Mr Trump's mental fitness for office but Dr Jackson said the President was "fit for duty".

Trump's critics have recently questioned his mental fitness - an issue that gained attention in recent weeks over such things as the president's belligerent tweets about North Korea.

Presidents aren't required to get a checkup, but modern presidents do so regularly and release a doctor's report on the findings.

"The president's overall health is excellent", said Jackson, who predicted Trump would remain healthy for the duration of his presidency despite a diet heavy on fast food and an exercise regime limited to weekend golf outings.

"There's no indication whatsoever that he has any cognitive issues", Jackson said.

"Standing at 75 inches tall, or 6' 2.5", and weighing in at 239 pounds, Trump's weight places him at a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30.3, or, if his height is rounded up to 6' 3", 29.9.

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However, Dr. Jackson did admit that Trump's weight was an issue that he and the president were now working to get under control.

"He's probably been that way his whole life", Jackson said. Instead, the senator is framing Trump's change of heart about the immigration deal he brokered with Durbin as a result of "really bad advice" from White House senior staff, who reportedly convinced the president the bipartisan agreement would alienate the party base. He passed a battery of heart exams including a stress test that Jackson said showed an above-average exercise capacity for a man of his age, despite some calcium buildup in his arteries.

"His score is 133, and anything over 100 indicates plaque is present and that the patient has heart disease", said Gupta.

He also said Trump took Crestor, a cholesterol lowering statin; a low dose of aspirin to prevent heart attacks; antibiotics to treat skin rosacea; and Propecia for baldness. Jackson said he'd ruled out a list of possible causes, and that dry mouth caused by the over-the-counter decongestant Sudafed was likely to blame.

The doctor added that Trump does not use tobacco or alcohol, one of the reasons he is in good health generally. Jackson has worked at the White House since 2006 and participated in several presidential physicals, overseeing two of President Barack Obama's exams.

The president's weight is three pounds more than it was in September 2016, according to a letter Trump released from his personal physician at the time.

Jackson said that Trump's cholesterol level has jumped to 223, in the elevated range, and his low-density lipoprotein of 143 is borderline high, so he is increasing Trump's medication.

"He would benefit from a diet that is lower in fat and carbohydrates", Jackson told reporters at the White House.

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